Freezer case key to quick meal

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Fresh artichokes are one of my favorite foods, and yet I pass them by at the grocery store, having thought about the work in cleaning them.

This is when a good frozen product comes in handy. I’ve found frozen artichokes to have good texture and flavor. Plus, they’re trimmed, cooked and even quartered.

Pasta Shells With Artichokes

Makes 4 servings

1 pound medium pasta shells

1 pound frozen baby artichokes or artichoke hearts

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 clove garlic, chopped

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup dry white wine

2 to 4 tablespoons cream

½ cup chopped Italian parsley

½ cup brine-cured green olives, quartered

Zest of 1 lemon

½ cup grated pecorino Romano cheese

Cook the pasta until al dente; drain. Thaw the artichokes in the microwave according to package directions. (It is OK if the artichokes are not completely thawed.)

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high; add the garlic. Cook until fragrant, but don’t allow to brown or burn, 1 minute. Add the artichokes; season with the salt. Cook to warm through. Stir in the wine; reduce heat to medium. Allow to reduce slightly. Stir in 2 to 4 tablespoons cream; cook to thicken slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley, olives and lemon zest.

Toss the artichokes, sauce and Romano cheese with the pasta. Serve.