Tagliatella Carciofo e Speck – Artichoke Pasta

We have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen, something we both enjoy. Lockdown cooking is not that much different from our usual style of cooking. We read recipes all the time, using our own books or on the internet, so we use whatever we have at hand while incorporating an element or unusual (for us) idea in the cooking of the day. We love artichokes and a friend did not want the ones from her garden, so I harvested them for us. I read a very simple recipe from Benedetta, who has several cooking videos on YouTube, for a pasta sauce and it was good enough to try and share.

4 Big Artichokes or the equivalent of small ones

100 g Guanciale  made by me (the recipe calls for prosciutto and you are lucky if you have some)

100 g Pancetta  made made by me

100 g Salami made by me

1/2 Glass white wine made by me

1/2 Cup cream, mine was sour so I used a few spoonfuls of ricotta which I make every week from milk collected from HolyCow in Port Chalmers

1/2 Cup cooking oil


Linguini for 2 (I was too lazy to make fresh Tagliatella)

Cut about 1/3 off from the bottom of the artichoke and discard. Snap all the green leaves off the artichokes and discard leaving only the soft white parts. Pare the green bits off the base of the artichoke, remove the choke and discard. Cut the artichoke into slices about 15 mm thick set aside.

Put the pasta in the salted boiling water while you make the sauce.

Pour the olive oil in a pot big enough to contain all the ingredients including the pasta. Fry the meats for a few minutes and add the artichokes. Fry the artichokes for a few minutes, then add the wine. Cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Mix everything and pour the cream over the contents of the pot, add pepper to taste (do not add salt as the meats are salty enough ). Mix again and serve with grated Parmigiano (In my case my own made hard grating cheese)


ENJOY with a couple of glasses of home made RED WINE !!


26EA79BC-9F8C-4A90-B494-998393390A0B.jpegWhenever Mrs BYF goes to Africa she brings me an artwork depicting an animal that is special to me. This year she brought me a carving of a meerkat. A small sentinel that now stands on the window sill beside my desk, keeping a keen lookout for danger. The little figure is on high alert and I almost expect him to squeak in warning any minute.

I had a meerkat as a pet when I was a boy, and I still cherish the memory of him sleeping in my lap like a cat, exempting me from any random chores lest it be woken and disturbed.

Mayhem happened one night when a fat, drunken guest slept over. Unbeknownst to him, the meerkat had snuggled up against his back under the blanket. The sleeping arrangement worked well until he rolled over on top of the meerkat, squeezing an amazing amount of poop from the frightened animal.  There was a lot of loud, alarming noise from man and beast, and some members of the family spent a lot of time cleaning floors, walls, and bedding. The rest tried to calm  the meerkat and the horrified and now stone cold sober guest. That was the hard part,  and if my memory serves, guest and meerkat  never shared a bed again.