Stuffed Artichokes

Carciofi Ripieni


This dish is really what started this artichoke obsession for me. My mother’s stuffed artichokes is a dish I always remember loving. It’s not just the flavour but just how fun they can be to eat. I remember the stuffing between the leaves being a real joy to savour and she made them so perfectly that the stuffing sometimes formed the shape of the artichoke leaf. You need to use your hands to get the most out of this dish and I love licking my fingers after a yummy meal. Do you?

The greatest thing about this dish is that you just need to know the technique of stuffing, the ingredients are up to you to play with. If you want to try something other that the traditional Italian favourites, you can certainly find Moroccan, Lebanese or Turkish variations. All delicious and your dinner guests, family or kids will have fun eating them.

In the last post I mentioned that Zio Aldo served stuffed artichokes as a main course. He cooked them in the same pot as his braised peas. His stuffing was probably one of the simplest I have seen, just some crustless stale bread, herbs and basic seasoning.  Over time I will blog about a few other well known Italian recipes for stuffed artichokes. In essence, they are pretty simple with a few unique ingredients that reflect their region.

For this post I’d like to detail the dish that Zio Aldo made for us. The artichokes are served with peas

Carciofi Ripieni Con Piselli by Zio Aldo


Ingredients

6  medium artichokes

crustless white bread from a stale loaf.

800g / 1.7 lbs frozen peas

2 white onions

salt & pepper

extra virgin olive oil

parsley

Method

Bring some water to boil in a wide pot. You don’t want too much water as you will want it to reduce to very little by the end of cooking.

Add peas and finely chopped white onion.

Allow to simmer away so that the water reduces.

Italians love over cooking vegetables but in this case it works, so keep the peas bubbling away while the water level reduces.

Tear the white bread into pieces and rub it between your fingers and work it in order to make it crumbly.

Add a little chopped parsley, salt and pepper and mix together thoroughly.

Stuff the artichokes (as shown in the video below)

YouTube Preview Image

Take the pot off the heat and allow to cool sufficiently so you can handle the next step.

Being very careful not to burn your hand, you can place in the stuffed artichokes with the stuffing side up.

The artichokes should be arranged tightly into the pot so that the water almost covers them. Find a gap in between the artichokes and add a little more water if necessary.

Drizzle a little olive oil into the artichokes and season with salt.

Keep the water gently simmering for a further 30 minutes under cover.

The artichoke is ready when the sharp point of a knife penetrates the base with a little resistance.

Most of the moisture will have evaporated but there should be enough liquid remaining to use as a serving sauce.

Allow the pot to cool slightly before carefully removing the artichokes with tongs.

Once the artichokes are removed you can adjust the seasoning of the peas if necessary.

Serve up the peas next to an artichoke on each plate.

 

 

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