Fondi di Carciofi alla Veneta
These are the artichokes you’ll find all over Venice. They are known as fondi and Venetians can’t get enough of them. Fondi is the plural of fondo which means ‘bottom’ or ‘base’. Seeing as though one would never really deal with a singular fondo, all you need to remember is the plural, fondi. They are quite exquisite and the way they prepare them in Venice is by far the easiest artichoke dish on this site.
In Venice this is the artichoke of choice. You will see them at nearly every fruit and vegetable stall soaking in lemon water. They are all ready to go, no peeling, cleaning or anything is necessary. That’s one reason I love them. This is a dish you will find in all of the ciccetti bars and on most menus of Venetian restaurants.
Ingredients (serves 4)
8 Artichoke bottoms / fondi
1 clove garlic
1 small handful parsley leaf
2 cups vegetable stock
extra virgin olive oil
Chop the garlic and parsley leaf together and gently begin frying them in some olive oil in a wide pan.
Drain and dry the fondi and add them to the pan with the garlic and parsley.
Heat in the oil for a few minutes and them add cover with vegetable stock or water.
Bring to the boil.
Season with salt and reduce to a simmer covering the pan with a lid.
Allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
Arrange on a serving dish and pour some of the remaining liquid over the fondi.
Although this is usually a side dish or served as cicchetti, it can easily be turned into a pasta sauce.
Just boil the pasta in a plenty of salted water in a separate pot. A little before the pasta is al dente, drain the pasta. Chop the fondi up a little or mash them with a fork if you prefer. Mix this through the pasta and pour the liquid from the fondi in with the pasta. Heat through until the pasta is al dente. Serve with grated Parmiggiano or hard pecorino.
Another dish, which you’ll always find in Venice is Baccalá Mantecato. A salted cod, with garlic, herbs, and sometimes milk or cream, whipped up till creamy and served with polenta. Delicious yeah! Personally I think it’s not such a good idea to put an artichoke bottom in that mix. I think an artichoke bottom should be more than just another texture. Its flavour should stand out, even a little, and not be smothered as happens in this combination. It presents beautifully but unfortunately the artichoke is lost; and I’m searching to find it.
Cutting the Bottom – Step by Step
This is a step by step page on how to cut out the bottom of the artichoke just as they do in Venice.
A very sharp knife is essential and lemon water ready for the freshly cut chokes. To see a video of an expert doing this, check out the video on this link.
Begin by removing the stem at the base
- Begin working your way around the base cutting away the leaves.
Continue all the way around.
- Make sure you remove all the tough green fibre
- Go all the way around until the trimming is tidy.
- Remove the butt and if it’s too fibrous, discard.
- The butt can also be cleaned up and used if you like.
- Now cut at the base to remove the bottom.
- Separate the bottom and discard the rest of the choke.
- Tidy up the bottom by trimming off any blemishes. Put straight into lemon water.
- The Artichoke Blog ©