Like many people this time of year, after a few too many holiday indulgences I‘ve been watching what I eat a little more. I haven’t made any grandiose promises or life-changing resolutions–just trying to eat more vegetables and less sugar than I did in December as a way to feel like I’m back on track. You know what I mean? It seems easy, in theory. But this time of year I seem to have an insatiable desire for stuffing my face with comfort foods like pasta, bread, and anything sweet and carby that I can get my hands on. So when I saw this recipe, I knew that it would make an excellent compromise.
The pairing of jerusalem artichoke (also known as sunchokes) and artichoke heart (not born of the same roots, by the way) both lend an earthy sweetness. But their textures, on the other hand, are completely different–one crunchy and light, the other smooth, almost creamy. We tossed the veggies with a brown rice linguine, which has a lovely chew; And ate it with an arugula salad one day and sautéed brussels sprouts the next.Vegetables and comfort. What more could you ask for?
Jerusalem Artichoke & Artichoke Heart Linguine
From Diane Morgan’s beautiful, new book, Roots
1 tbsp kosher or fine sea salt, plus 1 tsp
1 lb/455 g dried linguine *I used brown rice linguine
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb/455 g Jerusalem artichokes, cut on the diagonal into slices 1/4 in/6 mm thick
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
One 14-oz/400-g can quartered artichoke hearts in water, drained and patted dry
6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup/15 g thinly sliced fresh mint
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese for garnish, optional
Fill a large pot two-thirds full of water, add the 1 tbsp salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and stir. Cook the pasta until al dente (cooked through but still slightly chewy), 7 to 8 minutes.
While the pasta water is heating and pasta is cooking, in a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat and swirl to coat the pan bottom. Add the Jerusalem artichokes, the remaining 1 tsp salt, the pepper, and red pepper flakes and sauté until the Jerusalem artichokes begin to brown on the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes more. Add the artichoke hearts and garlic and continue sautéing until the artichoke hearts are heated through and the garlic is soft but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon juice and toss to coat.
When the pasta is ready, drain it in a colander, reserving 1 cup/240 ml of the cooking water. Add the pasta and the mint to the sauté pan and toss to combine with the Jerusalem artichoke mixture. Add just enough of the reserved pasta water, a little at a time, as needed to moisten. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Divide the pasta among warmed individual bowls and shower with the cheese. Serve immediately & enjoy!
*Note: I added the mint at the end as a garnish to preserve it’s colour and freshness.