Ziti with Artichokes and Swordfish

artichoke  artichoke

I am getting them while I can, then again, who knows how long the artichoke season will last in this country, I guess I’ll find out in the next few months. These were beautiful, a little less expensive than the last ones that I worked with and HUGE. They were never this big in Rome, though they are really similar to the Roman Mammola artichoke. 


I almost regret not having used them to experiment with a carciofo alla giudea and instead putting them into a pasta. Though the pasta was delicious and the artichokes also went beautifully with the swordfish, which has such a distinct flavor, I also added a bit of lemon zest and white wine to create a very delicate sauce for the pasta. 

artichokes  swordfish  ziti  artichokes and swordfish

Ziti with Artichokes and Swordfish

  • 2 large artichokes
  • 2 swordfish steaks (I used frozen steaks)
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup of dry white wine
  • 1 lb of ziti pasta
  • 1 large stem of flat parlsey, chopped

ziti with artichokes and swordfish

Grate the zest of the lemon and set aside. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a bowl of cold water.

Clean the artichokes by eliminating their outer leaves; you can do this by bending them and snapping them off. Do this until you get to the leaves that are lighter in color.  Cut off the tip of the central cone, to eliminate the tougher green end of the leaves. Cut the heart in half and scoop out the inside chokes with a knife or a small spoon. Cut the heart of the artichoke into thin slices and immerse in the lemon water.

If your artichokes have stems, cut the stem off and peel it of its outer skin. Chop into small cubes to be used in the sauce as well, it would be shame to throw them away.

Heat oil in a deep skillet or a wide saucepan over medium heat and add whole cloves of garlic. When the garlic starts to simmer, add artichoke slices, stir to absorb the oil and then add the white wine and the lemon zest. Cover and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes. If it starts to dry out, add a cup of water to the pan.

Cut the swordfish steaks into small pieces, add to the pan and break up the pieces with a wooden spoon. 

In the meantime, fill a large pot with water for the pasta. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water starts to boil for the pasta add a small handful of salt to the water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.

When the pasta is perfectly al dente, add a cup of the pasta water to the sauce, turn up the heat and drain the pasta. Without shaking all of the water out of the colander pour the pasta into the pan and toss it with the sauce. This allows for the pasta to cook a little longer in the sauce and to absorb the flavor. Off the heat, toss the parsley in the pasta. Serve immediately. 

Serves 4

last bites

~ by italicious on April 21, 2009.

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