Prep 20 mins
Cook 20 mins
I invented this when I had some asparagus and artichokes in the fridge and wondered what to do with my new pot of lemon thyme growing outside the kitchen door. It was quite a good combination, if I do say so myself.
- 250 g fettuccine
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or half oil and half butter)
- 4 shallots, finely chopped
- 1 -2 clove garlic
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 2 globe artichokes
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon thyme leaves
- 50 g pecorino cheese, freshly grated
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Have a bowl of water with a squeeze of lemon juice in it standing by.
- Prepare the artichokes by first removing half of the outer green leaves.
- Cut the top half or two-thirds off of the artichoke and discard.
- Dip the cut artichoke into the lemon water.
- Continue to remove any leaves that have any green colour to them as they are tough (it may look like you are wasting a lot, but you really don't want to eat the green parts- trust me).
- Cut off the stem where it joins to the base of the artichoke (which is the flower), dip in the lemon water and set aside.
- Once only the inner, yellow part of the artichoke remains, cut the it in half lengthwise and scrape out the hairy choke with a teaspoon.
- Dip the halves in the lemon water again, then cut each half into three or four wedges, lengthwise.
- Place the artichoke pieces in the bowl of lemon water.
- They will keep there without going brown until you are ready to cook them.
- If the stem of the artichoke was in good shape (nice and crispy, not brown and limp), cut off the outer green part, as the inner, pale part and the base of the flower are edible (and may even be the best parts).
- Chop into pieces of about the same size as the artichoke wedges and add to the lemon water.
- Repeat with the other artichoke.
- To prepare the asparagus, remove the woody base of the stem by snapping at the lowest point it will break naturally.
- Discard the tough bases.
- Cut off the asparagus tips and set aside.
- Cut the remaining stems into approximately 3 cm lengths.
- Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add salt and cook the fettuccine according to the packet instructions.
- When cooked al dente, pour in some cold water to stop the cooking, then drain in a colander.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil (or oil and butter) in a medium, heavy-based saucepan over medium-low heat, then add the shallots and garlic and sauté gently until softened.
- Add the lemon thyme leaves (just strip them straight off the stems and throw them in) and stir.
- Drain the artichoke pieces and add them along with the asparagus pieces (but not the tips) to the pan.
- Sauté gently until the asparagus is about half cooked.
- Add the asparagus tips and continue to sauté, stirring occasionally, until the asparagus is tender.
- Once the pasta and the vegetables are cooked, turn off the heat, and combine them in one pan.
- Add the Pecorino cheese and salt and pepper to taste, and stir together.
- Serve immediately.