Below is the recipe I was lucky enough to make with Stephanie Izard of Girl & The Goat. Definitely making this for Easter this weekend!
Artichoke Fideos with Fresh Mozzarella and Dill
Serves 4 as an entrée, 8 as an appetizer
Fideos is a Spanish term for pasta, and in Spain, it refers to very thin vermicelli-like noodles that are cut short and used in dishes in place of rice. It sounds pretty simple, but what makes fideos so delicious is that the noodles are first toasted to bring on a nice nutty flavor, then slowly cooked in broth rather than boiled in water. In this method, they soak up the flavor of the broth, and don’t really need anything else.
At Scylla, we served a version of a very classic shrimp fideos, where we cooked the noodles in a light shrimp stock, then tossed the shrimp back into the dish and broiled it for a bit to get a bit of crispiness on the top just before sending it out to the table. For this recipe, I wanted to really celebrate the flavor of the artichoke by following the same method, but with a stock made from the scraps left over after cleaning the artichokes to their heart. It always feels so wasteful to me to discard the leaves after cleaning them. They’re actually full of flavor, even though only the very bottom of them is edible when the artichoke is steamed or grilled whole. Plus, I figured after putting in all of the hard work to get to the heart, it’s nice to really be able to enjoy the artichoke to its fullest.
4 artichokes, cleaned
1/2 cup olive oil plus 1 tablespoon
1 small onion, chopped
7 garlic cloves, 5 chopped and 2 minced, divided
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 quart chicken broth
4 dried guajillo chiles
1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns
8 ounces dry angel hair pasta, broken into 2-inch pieces
1 shallot, minced
1 pound ground lamb
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
1. Slice the artichokes 1/4 inch thick on a mandoline, and set them aside, submerged in lemon water to prevent browning. Reserve the leaves.
2. Heat a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the 1/2 cup olive oil, then the onion and chopped garlic. Sweat them by cooking until the onion is translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the wine, increase the heat to medium-high, and simmer to reduce by half. Add the broth, artichoke leaves, chiles, and peppercorns and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 45 minutes to combine the flavors. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the solids.
3. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spread the pieces of angel hair evenly onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden brown, about 6 minutes.
4. Preheat the broiler. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the shallot and minced garlic and sweat by cooking until the shallot is translucent, about 3 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the lamb, Worcestershire, mustard, red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon salt. Season with pepper. Increase the heat on the Dutch oven to medium-high and add the lamb mixture to brown, breaking up with a wooden spoon while cooking. Remove it with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain.
6. Strain the sliced artichokes from their water and dab them dry on paper towels. Heat the Dutch oven back over medium-high heat and add the extra-virgin olive oil. Add the artichokes and lightly brown them for 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the strained artichoke stock and the pasta. As you stir the pasta, it will begin to cook, and will submerge into the liquid. Continue to stir until the liquid is absorbed and both the pasta and the artichokes are tender. Return the lamb to the pot along with the lemon juice, parsley, and dill, stirring to combine. Transfer the mixture to a large oven-to-table baking dish. Place the mozzarella on the fideos, pressing it down into the pasta a bit while leaving some of the pasta exposed.
7. Broil until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly and some of the pasta is crisped, about 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.
We’re working with difficult artichokes here, and we also have creaminess from the mozzarella and brightness from the dill. When you’re dealing with tricky flavors, a good rule of thumb is to let the wine bow out of the flavor contest gracefully. A light and easy Pinot Grigio will do this well.