It may be November, but here in Rome it is sunny and still 19 degrees. My cousin was visiting from Norway this week, only for two days, but she saw as much as possible. She was thrilled, also to escape the snow and Norwegian winter darkness. She enjoyed wine, gelato, Roman pizza, seeing the Pantheon, tossing a coin in the Trevi, and being flirted with by waiters, and now wants to come back next summer to study Italian. We also ambled around our neighborhood (Garbatella) and had wine in the balmy first evening, which was good as it poured the next day.
With houseguests you never know, I like having some food options on hand for those too tired to go out. Not the case with my cousin! What time did not allow on this trip was spaghetti with carciofi and mint, so we had that for lunch after she left. Very easy, especially when our fruttivendolo has the carciofi (artichokes) already prepped and ready like this.
4-5 artichokes, cleaned and sliced thinly
Handful of fresh parsley
Some sprigs of fresh mint
1 tsp olive oil
Splash of white wine or water
Pinch of salt
250 grammes spaghetti
While the pasta boils, toss the sliced artichokes in a frying pan with the oil and cook lightly until tender, just a few minutes. Add a splash of white wine or water if it looks dry. Chop parsley and mint and add, with a pinch of salt. Drain pasta when done, keeping a little pasta cooking water aside (1/4 cup?), and toss it with artichokes in pan. Moisten with pasta cooking water if needed, and serve. It’s light and tasty, the carciofi flavour really comes through.
And then we went for a walk to enjoy our tourist-free, football loving neighourhood, basking in November sunshine. Life is good.