10.25.2007

Artichoke Ragu' from.... Lufthansa?!?! Yes.

You won't believe where I got my inspiration for this sauce... a coach class airline vegetarian meal on Lufthansa. But don't let the source turn you off, it was surprisingly delicious! I searched and searched their website and online and I just couldn't find a recipe for it. So, I made my own!

Please, please, please do not waste your money on those pitted canned olives that are painted black. You will be throwing your money away because they will not taste like anything and you may as well leave them out! Instead, go to the deli-section of the super-market or for one of those higher-end glass jars.

Ragu' di Carciofini ed Olive (Baby Artichoke & Olive Ragout)
This chunky sauce requires a sturdy pasta like fusilli or penne, and could even be used as a base for a vegetarian lasagna instead of a meat Ragu'.

The olives and artichokes are thrown in at the end so that the sauce will not have a monotonous taste and give you little olive and artichoke surprises with every bite.

1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 pinch of hot pepper flakes
5 TBSP of Olive Oil
3 TBSP of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Onion, chopped
1 cup of black olives, pitted and chopped
1 cup of baby artichokes, quartered
500 ml or 8 oz of tomato puree
1 TBS of tomato concentrate/tomato paste
salt & pepper to taste

To Remove The Pits
Rinse the salt, salt-water, or oil off the olives. To remove the pits, place them in a large, plastic transparent bag. Place the bag on a sturdy cutting board and bang each olive with a meat-thingy-magig to lightly crush the olive flesh(if you bang too hard, you will break the pits). Open the bag, and gently and easily separate the skin from the pits.

For the Sauce
In a cold, wide, tall-sided skillet add the 5TBSP of Olive Oil crushed garlic clove and pinch of hot pepper flakes. Turn the heat on to very low. In the meantime, chop the onion. When the garlic starts to sizzle, add the onion to the skillet, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper and turn the heat up to medium.

When the onion becomes translucent, add the tomato puree and concentrate. Mix well and let the sauce reduce reduce he sauce (at a slow boil with no top on the pan) for about 15 minutes). When the sauce becomes a little thicker add the olives and artichokes. Mix well and cook toss on the pasta.

Buon Appetito!

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