In summer pasta dishes should be quick to make, light and summery. Think seasonal ingredients that are easy to get your hands on and recipes that are quick to prepare. There are plenty of fresh vegetables ripe for pasta dishes. Tomatoes and courgette are both in season in Ireland. But for this recipe I’ve gone with ready-prepped grilled artichokes and frozen peas for my veg. Pair with fresh egg pasta, lemon juice, crispy breadcrumbs and a decent helping of parmesan and you are nailing summer pasta vibes in a big way. Serve with a glass of something chilled.
A quick word about artichokes. Buying fresh artichokes and preparing them yourself at home is quite the undertaking. I rarely do it as it’s time consuming and they are expensive and hard to find. Much easier to buy a jar of grilled artichoke hearts – “antipasti” style – in your local wholefood shop or supermarket. Of course, peas are in season at the moment and for this recipe you can opt for freshly popped peas instead of frozen if you wish. Expect them to be sweet and tender. I sometimes buy fresh, but usually go for frozen as they are less expensive and when cooked the difference from a taste perspective is minimal.
For the pasta, use fresh egg pasta. I opted for tortiglioni but of course you can use the pasta shape of your choosing. If you do use dried pasta, allow for a longer cooking time.
And now for the last thing I’m going to say about this recipe. Do not leave out the crispy breadcrumbs. They are salty and crispy and delicious and essential. In fact, from now on consider adding crispy breadcrumbs to all your pasta dishes.
Scroll on for the recipe for this Artichoke & Pea Tortiglioni with Parmesan & Crispy Breadcrumbs!! Don’t forget the crispy breadcrumbs.
Artichoke & Pea Tortiglioni with Parmesan and Crispy Breadcrumbs
150g fresh egg tortiglioni
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
Jar of grilled artichokes (approx. 350g)
1.5 cups frozen peas
2 tbsp pine nuts
Juice and zest of a lemon
¼ cup grated parmesan
1 tsp chilli flakes
2-3 leave of fresh basil, roughly torn
4 tbsp breadcrumbs
Sea salt and black pepper
Start by making the crispy breadcrumb topping. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Add the breadcrumbs and a decent seasoning of black pepper and sea salt. Fry over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until crispy, stirring every 30 seconds or so. Remove from the heat and set to one side.
Cook the fresh pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water. This should take approx five minutes. The pasta should be al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 2-3 tbsp of the cooking water.
While the pasta is cooking, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan over a low heat. Roughly chop the grilled artichokes and add to the pan along with the crushed garlic and a pinch of chilli flakes. Cook for five minutes before adding the pine nuts, lemon zest, lemon juice and peas. Add the pasta along with 2-3 tbsp of the pasta cooking water.
Toss the pan and add half the parmesan and half the basil and cook for a further 2 minutes. Season well, remove from the heat and plate.
Top with the crispy breadcrumbs, the remaining grated parmesan and fresh basil. Serve straight away.