Artichoke hearts carbonara

leiths_vegetarian_bibleAnother cookbook I don’t use that often is Leith’s Vegetarian Bible, although I don’t know why, as it’s great.  It has 1000 recipes arranged by vegetable type, so if you’re wondering what to with those leftover mushrooms, just turn to the mushroom section and this book will give you a load of options.  There are a few colour photographs but for a book this size (over 500 pages), if every recipe was photographed, it would take up an entire library and you’d need a winning lottery ticket.  Another quick and easy meal, this week’s theme seems to be laziness.

Artichoke-carbonara

Artichoke hearts carbonara (serves 2)

1 x 400 g/14 oz can of artichoke hearts
340 g/12 oz tagliatelle or spaghetti
salt and freshly ground black pepper
25 g/1 oz butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 egg
3 tablespoons crème fraîche
50 g/2 oz vegetarian Parmesan-style cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  1. Drain the artichokes and pat dry on kitchen paper.  Cut into quarters.  Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the pasta and cook for about 10 minutes until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a heavy frying pan, add the onion and fry over a low heat until softened.  Add the artichokes and garlic and fry for 2 further minutes.
  3. Whisk together the egg, crème fraîche and half the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add to the pan with the artichokes and stir until hot but not boiling and very slightly thickened.
  4. Drain the pasta thoroughly.  Return to the saucepan and stir in the artichoke sauce.  Season with salt and plenty of pepper.  Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and the parsley.
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