In the Orthodox church, we fast from all meat, dairy, and eggs during Lent and Holy Week. On weekdays, there's even a restriction on using oil and wine. While I no longer follow the oil restriction strictly, I do wait until weekends in Lent to cook anything overtly oily. During Holy Week, we pretty much go down to two meals a day, since we have Presanctified Liturgy on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and the Divine Liturgy to commemorate the first Holy Supper that Jesus instituted with his disciples. Before liturgies we don't eat anything. So lunch and dinner is all we eat during Holy Week, except for Friday. So, it seems like quite a feast when, on Thursday, because of the commemoration, we are allowed wine and oil. I made this special and tasty, but pretty easy dinner tonight.
Hopefully you can find the little baby artichokes, because they are the easiest to use in this pasta. The baby ones don't have a choke, so you don't have to scrape one out. Artichokes are kind of needy in the way of preparation, but they're worth it!
Buy about 6-8 baby artichokes to feed a family of four. Trim as usual---taking off all the outer leaves, until you get to light green leaves. Trim off the pointy ends, and trim the stem. Cut into quarters and if there is a choke, scrape it out. Plunge each piece into cold water with lemon juice as you work.
Saute four sliced cloves of garlic in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Add the artichokes and a big sprig of rosemary, cut into pieces small enough to fit into your pan. Stir and cook for a few minutes, then add about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of white wine. Cover and cook on low heat for half and hour to 45 minutes, until very tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cook a pound of pasta--angel hair is my favorite--and toss with olive oil. Combine with artichokes and serve.
Delicious. This is one dish that there's never leftovers of. We were all fighting for the last bit!