My hometown in Prezza is famous for its artichokes. They are smaller and sweeter than the traditional globe ones and can be sampled in a trillions ways at the town’s annual artichoke festival.
Here is my favourite recipe to serve them stuffed as an antipasti or alongside roast lamb for a very special dinner
- 6 Artichokes
- 2 cups of plain bread crumbs
- 1 cup Pecorino Cheese grated
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 8 oz Pancetta chopped small
- 2 Garlic Cloves finely chopped
- 1 handful of Italian Parsley
- 4 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Remove all the outside leaves from the artichokes until you reach the lighter leaves.
- Cut the top off the artichokes to remove the hardest part of the leaves. Remove the external skin of the stems and save them.
- Place the cleaned artichokes and the stems in a bowl with water and lemon. The lemon juice will prevent the artichokes from darkening and will reduce their bitterness.
- Prepare the filling: Mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan and Pecorino cheese. Add the parsley, garlic, salt and pepper and mix well. Add a little olive oil to bind the mixture together.
- Rinse the artichokes and dry them.Open the artichokes by separating the leaves with your fingers. Stuff the filling into the artichokes by pressing the mixture in and between the leaves.
- Place a cup of white wine, then a cup of water, then 2 tblsp. of olive oil and a clove of garlic in a large saucepan. Place the artichokes and stems in the pan, filled side up, cover the pan and simmer for 45 mins. or until artichokes are tender. They will be tender when ready.
- Serve with a sprinkle of extra virgin olive oil.