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Alessi cuisine



Sautéed fusilli with artichoke

(Fusilli saltati con carciofi all'empolese)

  • 400 grams of fusilli
  • 8 artichokes
  • a chopped mixture composed by:
    a small bunch of parsley
    2 white ribs of celery
    1 big white onion;
    1/2 kg of tomato purée
    2 garlic cloves;
    the small leaves of 4-5 branches of sweet marjoram;
    another small bunch of parsley
    1 meat stock cube
    50 grams of butter
    5-6 spoons of olive oil
    1 lemon
    salt and pepper
    some more chopped leaves of parsley
Peel the artichokes eliminating the external leaves, which are harder, and cut in two parts the remaining leaves.
Clean the external part of the artichoke and remove the stalk (after having washed it). Cut the artichokes in segments and put them in slightly sour water, made with the lemon juice, together with their stalks. Take a small saucepan and put inside the above chopped vegetables together with some oil and let it brown for 3 minutes. Add the segments of artichoke and let them brown for 5-6 minutes, always turning them. In the meanwhile scald in salted water, for 5-6 minutes, the stalks of artichoke then drain them and put them in a blender together with 5-6 spoons of cooking water, the tomato purée, two garlic cloves, the marjoram, the parsley, the stock cube and the butter and mix all these ingredients to obtain a homogeneous and smooth mixture.
Pour this mixture in the small saucepan, where there are the artichokes, and stew for 15 minutes (cover the pan with a lid), turning very often over a low heat. At the right time taste and add some more salt and pepper, if necessary, and then switch off.
Cook the pasta quite "al dente", drain it and put it in a frying pan together with the remaining butter and 4-5 spoons of the above artichoke sauce. Sauté these ingredients in order to incorporate the seasoning with the pasta and then add 2-3 spoons of the pasta cooking water to bind the stuff; then add 4-5 spoons, or more according to your own tastes, of artichoke sauce and after 2 more minutes of cooking, always turning and sauting, distribute the pasta in the plates. Season them with some more sauce, sprinkle with parsley and serve them without any other additions.
Also the pasta spiral (fusilli), like some recipes we have previously presented, is not part of the Tuscany tradition. The Tuscany pasta, rigorously Tuscany, is composed by: thin soup noodles (taglierini), tagliatelle, nastroni and pappardelle (wide strips of pasta); with the following variants: "pici", cannelloni (pasta stuffed with sauce and baked), gnocchi (small dumplings made of potato or semolina), tortelli, etc.... which are fundamentally taken from the sorrounded regions. The Tuscany pasta is obtained by stretching the sheet of pasta dough; but today it is almost impossible to obtain it, because the hand-made sheet of pasta dough is a habit practically abandoned: missed culture.
As today we have to use "industrial" pasta, with all the incredible limits this matter brings, we can use the most varied types. The variety of shapes is the only value of this product, because its flavour is completely standardized.

A Giuseppe Alessi recipe
Translated by Gianna Toni
Picture by Kee-Ho Casati

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