Fettucine Alfredo with Artichokes and Fennel

Fettucine Alfredo with Artichokes and Fennel

These baby artichokes seem to have a short season, so I grab them when they show up in the spring. Here is a pasta dish that is substantial enough to serve as a main course when entertaining those pesky vegetarians.

  • 2 lb. baby artichokes
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 or more cloves garlic
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 head fennel
  • Dried herbs of choice
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 1/4 cup anisette
  • 1 lb. dried fettucine
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 lb. butter
  • 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan
  • 1 bunch chives

Remove stems and several layers of dark green outer leaves of the artichokes, revealing the lighter, yellowish inner leaves. Trim the bases and chop off the upper third of the leaves. Drop the prepared artichokes into a bowl of water acidulated with the juice of 1 lemon. Before cooking, pat the artichokes dry, cut in half lengthwise, and slice into 1/4-inch strips. Trim the fennel, removing the branches and leaves, cut in half, and slice into thin strips.

Sauté the artichokes and fennel with the minced garlic and herbs in the olive oil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the wine and the juice of 1/2 lemon and simmer until the liquid is reduced and the artichokes are tender, adding the anisette for the final 5 minutes.

Cook the fettucine in boiling salted water. Meanwhile, melt the butter with the cream in a large pan. When the pasta is done, add it to the pan and mix with the butter and cream, the cheese, half the vegetable sauté, and black pepper to taste. Turn the mixture onto a platter and top with the remaining vegetables and chopped chives.