At our lakehouse in summer, lunch is an easy meal on Sundays – something I’ve prepared ahead of time, like grilled vegetables for a salad, or a pasta sauce that can sit for a day or two in the fridge, aging gracefully. This sauce is courtesy of my mum: artichokes tossed in the oven with olive oil, salt & pepper, and combined with sautéed onions, and lemon juice. On the day I served it, all I had to do was heat the sauce, cook some fettuccine, and throw it all together with a little of the pasta cooking water. Then I topped the pasta with some crumbled feta and green onions. In my view, the perfect endcap to a perfect weekend. —Feed Me Dearly
Place artichokes on a baking sheet, toss with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast, tossing occasionally until starting to crisp at the edges (anywhere from 30-45 minutes depending on the size of your artichokes).
Meanwhile, heat oil and butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté onion, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened, about 8 minutes.
Add the lemon zest and artichokes, and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. If your artichoke pieces are more than bite-sized, you can snip them into smaller chunks with poultry scissors. Takes about a minute or two, but the effort will be well worth it.
Stir in the lemon juice, then remove from heat and transfer mixture to a container that will live happily in the fridge for the next day or so.
When you’re ready to serve the pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Remember to salt the water heavily as this is a light pasta and the noodles should be well-seasoned.
Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta in a colander and add to artichoke mixture along with 1/2 cup reserved water or enough to ensure a moist sauce consistency.
Add half of the feta, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and toss to combine. Re-season if necessary with salt and top with the remaining feta and green onions.
NOTES: The sauce gets better with age, so feel free to leave in the fridge for a day or two before you use it.