Stewed Stuffed Artichokes
- Serrated knife
- vegetable peeler or knife
- Large bowl
- Paper towel
- Saucepan with lid
- Cutting board
- pot to cook pasta (if using)
For the artichokes
- 2 big artichokes - (or 4 if they’re small)
- 1 lemon
For the stuffing
- 80 g bread - (stale is fine) cut in dices. If the crust is hard, trim it off before dicing.
- 1 sausage - about 90g each
- 200 ml milk - (or enough to soak your bread)
- 30 g Parmigiano cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 clove garlic - minced
- ½ cup parsley - minced
For stewing the artichokes
- Handful fresh parsley leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 500 ml water
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt to taste
For finishing the dish (optional)
- 100 g small pasta such as tubetti
- 2 Tbsp parmigiano cheese - grated
- Water to cook pasta
- 2 pinches coarse sea salt
Clean the artichokes
- With a serrated knife, cut off the top of the artichoke, where the leaves are very tight, about 1 – 1/2 inches (3cm) and have thorns.
- Start removing the outer leaves, snapping them from the top and pulling downward.
- Remove just one or two rounds of the tougher leaves: for this recipe, we don’t need to remove all the green leaves and reach the heart of the artichoke with the inner pale, soft leaves.
- Using a vegetable peeler or knife, peel off the tough exterior of the stem.
- Keep the artichokes whole and place them in a bowl with the juice of a lemon to prevent them from browning.
Prepare the stuffing
- In a bowl, add the diced bread and milk. Stir them together and soak for about 5 minutes or until the bread is soft.
- In another large bowl, mix egg, Parmesan cheese, parsley and a pinch of salt.
- Squeeze the bread well to let the excess of milk out and add it to the egg mixture. Mix with a fork, mashing up and combining the ingredients.
- Skin the sausage, crumble it and add to the bread mixture. It’s okay, if the mixture is soft, it will firm up when cooking.TIP If you have extra stuffing, make small meatballs to cook later with the artichokes. If the stuffing is too soft to make meatballs, add some breadcrumbs to hold the meatballs together.
Stuff the artichokes
- Remove the artichokes from the water and pat them dry with a paper towel.
- Cut the stem from the head to have a flat bottom so that the artichokes could stand up in the saucepan.
- Slice the stem in pieces and add it to the saucepan.
- With your fingers, create a nest in the center of each artichoke to place the filling, spreading the leaves from the center outwards.
- With a spoon, add the stuffing to the center of each artichoke, dividing the quantity in equal parts.
- Crush the garlic cloves and add them to the saucepan, together with extra virgin olive oil.
- Turn the heat to medium and sautè the garlic for 2-3 minutes.
Cook the stuffed artichokes
- Place the artichokes face up in the saucepan and add enough water to submerge the artichokes half in the liquid. Add a pinch of salt to the stock.
- Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes until the artichoke leaves are tender and soft and the bread mixture firm. Test to check.
- When artichokes are cooked, turn the heat off and serve immediately.
- If using pasta, cook pasta in a separate pot. When pasta is cooked, add it to individual bowls with the warm artichoke’s broth and top the pasta with the stuffed artichoke. Serve immediately.
How to eat the stuffed artichokes
- Snap one and place it in slightly clenched teeth. Scrape off the meaty part, located at the base of the artichoke leaf.
- Keep pulling off each leaf from the cooked artichoke, making your way down to the stuffing and the heart of the artichoke.
- The outer leaves are tougher and have just a small edible portion. As you progress towards the center, the leaves are much more tender and fleshier.
- When you arrive to the center, it will be like discovering a delicious soft bread gnocchi, one leaf at a time.
- For more juice, dip the leaves in the stock.