Pasta with Shrimp and Artichokes
Pasta con Carciofi e Gamberi
Yield: 6 generous portions
To prepare the fresh artichokes, mix the water and the juice of the lemon in a small bowl. Rub the cut lemon halves on your hands to prevent your fingers from discoloring. Snap off the dark, outer leaves of the artichoke by bending them back. Cut off the artichoke stem and the remaining leaves at the natural curve separating the heart and the coarse tips. With a sharp paring knife, trim away the tough green skin and any remaining pieces of coarse leaves. Use a metal spoon to scoop out the thistle-like choke. Drop the prepared artichoke bottom into the lemon water to prevent discoloration. Repeat with the remaining artichokes. Cut the finished artichoke bottoms into ¼ inch slices. If using canned artichoke bottoms, drain and rinse thoroughly before slicing.
Pat the shrimp dry and toss with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat until sizzling. Quickly brown half of the shrimp on both sides, about 1 minute. Scoop the shrimp out with a slotted spoon and repeat with the remaining shrimp. Turn the heat down to medium-low and, in the same pan, sauté the artichoke slices, onions, garlic, lemon zest and red pepper flakes until the onions and the artichokes start to brown, about 10-12 minutes.
Add white wine and stir gently to dislodge any flavorful brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the wine by half. Add the stock, the lemon juice, half the chopped parsley, salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil and simmer until slightly thickened, -10 minutes. Return the shrimp to the sauce to just warm through no more than 2-3 minutes .
While the sauce is simmering cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, drain and return to the pot. Pour the sauce over the pasta and simmer over low heat , stirring constantly, until the pasta is well coated, about 2 minutes.
Turn the hot pasta out onto a warm serving dish and sprinkle with reserved parsley and diced tomato. Serve immediately.