I have 4 artichokes to cook and I think I just want to use the heart and throw it in my pasta dish. What is the best way to do that?
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It depends, what kind of artichokes are they? If you have artichoke hearts, or are willing to leaf them until you get the hearts only, that's best. You can shred them finely and add them to the pasta in the pan for a bit of a crunchy finish. I'd sautée them before though, in a little olive oil, maybe garlic and parsley, then finish the pasta in the pan.
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I like to have a bowl of water with the juices from one lemon squeezed in. Toss one lemon half in too. Then take a big knife (I use my cleaver) and cut off 2/3 of the leaves. Take a sharp paring knife and trim the dark green from around the bottom. Trim the stalk as well if you are going to use it. Rub all over with lemon half to keep the artichoke from discoloring. Keep trimming around the bottom until you reach the pale colored leaves. Use a spoon and remove all of the choke. As you finish each heart/bottom, toss them into the lemon water. Cut into the desired size and saute or steam with whatever else will go into your pasta. After all that work, the artichoke should be the star. :0)