Aired April 16, 2010
2 small, ripe lemons, halved
1/4 cup EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 pound pancetta, cut into fine dice (optional, omit for a vegetarian version of recipe)
4 large shallots, finely chopped
4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
1 cup dry white wine
Salt, to taste
1 pound spaghetti
A generous handful mint leaves
A generous handful flat-leaf parsley
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, a generous handful for tossing plus some to pass at the table
Fill a large bowl with water. Squeeze lemons into the water and add them to bowl. Add sliced artichokes to bowl as you work so they don't turn brown.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta.
Heat 1/4 cup EVOO, 4 turns of the pan, in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pancetta, if using, and brown a couple of minutes. Add shallots and garlic, and cook 3-4 minutes more.
Drain the artichokes, discard juiced lemon halves and add artichokes to pan. Season with pepper. Raise heat a bit and saut until light golden at edges, 6-7 minutes. Add wine, stir and reduce by half. Cover pan, reduce heat to a simmer and cook covered, 5-6 minutes more. Season with salt to taste.
Meanwhile, salt the boiling water and cook pasta to al dente. Reserve about 1/2 cup of cooking water before draining pasta.
While pasta cooks, finely chop the mint with parsley. Stack up the basil leaves, roll them into a log and thinly slice the logs of leaves across.
Uncover the artichokes and stir in the reserved starchy water. Bring sauce to a bubble, add drained pasta, mint and parsley. Toss to combine, 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat. Add a handful of cheese and basil to pasta and toss again to combine, serve immediately.