Linguine with Seared Artichoke Hearts, Cremini Mushrooms, Fresh Oregano

Sometimes I like to make it simple, a little pasta, fresh artichoke, mushrooms, garlic and some fresh herbs. Artichokes are probably my favorite non starchy vegetable.  As a child my Mother would purchase an artichoke for myself and one for each of my eight brothers and sisters. She would have me trim them and then simmer in lemon and salted water until the leaves and stems were tender. I would take the leaves and dip in warmed butter with a little garlic and then with my teeth scrape and eat the tender part. I can still feel the warm butter running down my chin and onto my lap.

Trim the stem from the cremini mushrooms and slice thin.

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Trim the top 1/4 of the leaves from the artichoke.

Trim the stem and the base of the heart.

Remove the flower or thistle

Squeeze and rub some fresh lemon over the heart to keep it from turning brown.

Completely remove all of the thistle from the heart

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Linguine with Artichoke Hearts, Cremini Mushrooms,

Toasted Garlic

Serves 4

2 fresh artichokes, trimmed, remove choke

3/4 pound Linguine

4 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, sliced thin

1/2 pound cremini mushrooms sliced thin

1/8 cup fresh oregano

1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

Fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Kosher salt and fresh black pepper

Simmer the artichoke hearts until tender. Drain the hearts and run under cold water to stop the cooking, slice thin. In a large sauce pot boil 4 quarts of water and cook the pasta until al dente.

Place  a large saute pan over medium heat  and and the olive oil. Add the artichoke slices and stir until heated and have a little color. Add the sliced garlic, mushrooms and fresh oregano and cook until the mushrooms release some of their water, about 6 minutes.

Drain the pasta and add to the artichoke mixture with the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the pasta and ingredients into  four pasta bowls. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve.

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