Penne with Beer-Stewed Artichoke Hearts

A quick dinner. While it’s lovely to take artichokes down to their hearts, it can be more work than you want to do after a long day...worth it, but sometimes simply not in the cards. So keep a jar of prepared artichoke hearts in the pantry or a bag of frozen artichoke hearts in the freezer, so you can put together a delicious masterpiece like this one, in the blink of an eye.

Makes 4-5 servings

Ingredient List: 

extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thin half-moon slices
generous pinch red pepper flakes
sea salt
1 large jar artichoke hearts, drained well, oil reserved 
1 bottle dark beer
10 ounces penne
1 small bunch arugula, rinsed well
balsamic vinegar
1 ripe tomato, diced, do not peel or seed

Step By Step Instructions: 

Place a small amount of oil, garlic and onion in a deep skillet and turn heat to medium. When the onions begin to sizzle, add red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt and sauté until onions are quite soft and beginning to brown, 5-6 minutes. Stir in artichoke hearts, a pinch of salt and the beer. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, season lightly with salt and cook for 15 minutes.

While the artichokes cook, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook penne al dente. Drain well, but do not rinse. Toss the penne with a small amount of the reserved artichoke oil.

When the artichokes are ready, finely shred the arugula and add to the skillet. Remove from heat and stir gently to incorporate the arugula into the artichokes. Fold in the penne, with a light sprinkle of balsamic vinegar and transfer to a serving platter. Serve garnished with diced tomato.
Cook’s Tip: You can use frozen artichoke hearts in place of the jarred version; you simply have to flavor them to your liking.