Fresh Artichokes and Fresh Basil Leaves tend to be infested with aphids, thrips and other insects. Please check “Special Instructions” below for instructions on insect inspection.
Canned Artichokes need a reliable kosher supervision symbol (hechsher)
2 2/3 cups penne pasta
1 oil from the sun dried tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
15 oz can tomatoes
8 sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
15 oz can artichoke hearts, sliced
1/3 cup black olives
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil for dressing pasta
6 fresh basil leaves
Bring a large pan full of water to the boil, then add the pasta. Stir, then let the pasta boil, uncovered for 7-10 minutes or until just tender. Meanwhile, heat the oil in large saucepan add the onion, cover and cook gently for 10 minutes until it is tender but has not browned. Add the garlic, cook for a minute or two longer then stir in the tomatoes, together with their juice, breaking them up with a wooden spoon and then add the sun-dried tomatoes.
Let the mixture simmer away for about 10-15 minutes until the liquid has disappeared. Then add the artichoke hearts, black olives and a good seasoning of salt and pepper. Drain the pasta and return it to the still warm saucepan with some salt. Either add the artichoke and tomato mixture to the pasta and mix or just toss the pasta in a tablespoon of olive oil then serve it on warmed plates and spoon the sauce over it. Tear the basil leaves and sprinkle over the top.
Artichokes and Insect Infestation Inspection:
Artichokes can be heavily infested with both aphids and thrips. These insects penetrate deeply between the thick leaves, which provide them with food and shelter. Thus, insects may even be found between the innermost layers of leaves around the heart.
Fresh artichokes may be prepared for use in one of the following ways:
1. If the artichoke leaves are desired, then: After cooking the artichoke, pull away each leaf and examine it for small green aphids or gray/black thrips. Pay careful attention to the stem of the leaf (i.e., where the leaf
was connected to the solid base).
2. If the heart of the artichoke is desired, then: The artichoke leaves that wrap around the heart of the artichoke should be spread apart, making space between each leaf. Carefully examine between the leaves. If there is no sign of insect infestation, the artichoke heart may be used after a thorough washing.
Due to the difficulty involved in checking and cleaning artichoke hearts, they are not presently allowed in OU restaurants unless nearly all the leaves have been removed.
3. The solid artichoke bottom, not surrounded by any leaves, may be used without any inspection. However, they should be rinsed prior to using.
Please note: Uncertified canned or jarred artichokes may present more than one Kashruth concern. They may not be used even if one were to check them scrupulously for insects.
Fresh Basil and Insect Infestation:
Fresh basil leaves, as well as cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary and thyme, are often used as spices or garnishing. Aphids, thrips and other insects may often be found on the leaves and stems of these herbs. Insects tend to nestle in the crevices between the leaves and branches of herbs. These insects can curl up and stick to the leaf once they come in contact with water.
In order to determine if a particular bunch of herbs is infested prior to washing, bang it several times over a white cloth. This is most important when checking oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme. If only one or two insects are found, proceed with the steps below. If three or more insects are detected in a particular bunch of herbs, it should not be used.
1. Soak herbs in a solution of cold water and vegetable wash. The proper amount of vegetable wash has been added when some bubbles are observed in the water. (In the absence of vegetable wash, several drops of concentrated non-scented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.)
2. Agitate the herbs in the soapy water, in order to loosen the sticking excretion of the bugs.
3. Using a heavy stream of water, thoroughly wash off the soap and other foreign matter from the herbs.
4. Check both sides of each leaf under direct light.
5. If one or two insects are found, rewash the herbs.
6. If any insects are found after repeating the agitation process twice, the entire bunch must be discarded.