There is little more comforting to me at the end of the day than a nice bowl of pasta. Bucatini works great here because the pesto gets caught in the hollow center making every bite packed with flavor. Mint really livens up the sauce and is the perfect bright compliment to the rich creamy burrata. Be sure to look for artichokes that have tight firm leaves and feel heavy. If the artichoke leaves are fanned out your artichokes have spent too much time at the market and the heavy ones are the most moist. Another indicator that they will be delicious is if when you squeeze the leaves (watch out for the spikes!) they squeak. Unfortunately for my grocery budget they are always telling me “buy me” when I squeeze them!
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 5 medium artichokes
- 1 cup fresh mint
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1 clove garlic peeled
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 16 ounces bucatini pasta
- 2 balls burrata cheese
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Fill medium sized bowl with cold water and add lemon juice. Remove dark green outer leaves and discard. Peel and trim end of stem and base of the artichoke; a vegetable peeler works great. Cut off 1/4 of artichoke top off until you see the furry choke. Remove choke with a spoon or melon baller and discard. Place now cleaned artichoke hearts in bowl with lemon water.
Add mint, basil, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, garlic, lemon zest, juice, water and kosher salt to blender. Turn blender on and slowly add olive oil. Process until smooth paste is achieved. If needed thin with additional water 1 teaspoon at a time.
In large stock pot bring salted water to a boil. Add bucatini and cook according to package directions.
While pasta cooks remove burrata from refrigerator and place in small bowl filled with warm water.
Drain artichokes and thinly slice. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Once hot add the sliced artichokes and cook stirring occassionly until softened, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
In large bowl toss warm drained bucatini with mint pesto sauce until pasta is nicely coated. Add sautéd artichokes and toss gently. Arrange 4 serving bowls and fill each with pasta. Remove burrata from warm water and slice each ball in half. Place 1/2 of cheese ball on top of each bowl. Finish with fresh cracked pepper and serve immediately.
Adding the burrata to warm water takes the chill out of the cheese allowing for the flavor to come through and to not cool down your beautiful warm bowl of pasta.
Feel free to substitute hearts of palm for the artichokes if you can't find any in your local market. Canned hearts of palm are actually pretty delicious and can be found in most grocery chains and amazon.