Before starting the recipe, a few notes on the word artichoke, which in Venetian is called articioco
I have always found the assonance with the English language curious and by doing some research I found this interesting study that explains what happened:
"Let's move on to a plant. English: Artichoke (pron. Àrticiouk). Zeneize: Articiocca. Italian: Artichoke. Experts agree: the English artichoke derives from« articiocco », a common voice in northern Italy as a deformation of the Italian« artichoke "Originating from the Spanish" alcarchofa ", deformation of the Arabic" al-karshuf ". Also from the northern Italian" articiocco "derive the French" artichaut "and the German" Artischocke "(Klein's). According to the scholar Fiorenzo Toso was the Genoese term Articio - descended from Arabic through ancient Spanish - to spread in northern Italy, then in the Germanic speaking countries and perhaps also in France ", (transl. mine).Article
In Venice, artichokes are one of the most sought-after spring fruits. Here the local variety of the violet artichoke is particularly widespread, which is grown on the islands, including Sant'Erasmo. In the tables it is therefore very common to find dishes based on artichokes, which in the simplest version are stewed in oil, garlic and then seasoned with parsley and pepper. This recipe, which you can find here, is the starting point for the dish I am about to propose: a first course of homemade pasta, with artichokes in the variant with breadcrumbs.
Ingredients for 4
20 violet artichokes
400 gr of 00 flour
1 handful of semolina
1 cup of fresh savory leaves (or other aromatic herb to your liking)
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 cup of breadcrumbs
extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper
Prepare the dough with the semolina, water and if you like a pinch of turmeric for the color. Let stand 30 '. Then roll out the dough with a rolling pin until you get a thin sheet. Lay the savory leaves, fold the dough with the leaves inside and roll out again with a rolling pin, until you get a thin sheet with the leaves inside. To prevent the pasta from sticking to the shelf, use more semolina to flour. Cut strips of about 10 cm x 25 cm, roll them up on themselves and then cut them into 4, so as to obtain pappardelle of 2 cm x 25 cm.
For the sauce
Clean the artichokes, remove the hardest leaves until you have tender hearts. Cut off the tips. As you prepare them put them in a container with water and half a squeezed lemon, so they will not oxidize. Cook the artichokes as per traditional Venetian recipe
. When they are cooked, set aside 8 artichokes. Cut the rest into thin slices and put them back in the pan with half the breadcrumbs and mix.
Bring plenty of salted water to the boil and boil the pappardelle. Pour 1 ladle of pasta cooking water into the artichokes with the breadcrumbs, mix well and put on the fire.
In a saucepan fry the remaining breadcrumbs together with 5-6 spoons of oil, 1 clove of minced garlic and a pinch of salt, until the bread darkens slightly and becomes crispy.
Drain the pappardelle and incorporate them with the artichoke sauce, together with the parsley and a generous grated pepper and a drizzle of oil, should it serve.
Serve hot with the fried breadcrumbs and a couple of whole artichokes as a garnish.