Artichokes alla romana - Carciofi alla romana

“Artichokes Roman style” recipe – “Carciofi alla romana”

    • Prep Time
    • Minutes
    • Cook Time
    • Minutes

Artichokes alla romana - Carciofi alla romana: the ingredientsTotal Cost: UK/£ 7,36*

Cost/portion: UK/£ 1,84*

“I came, I saw, I …” cooked artichokes?

Well, certainly Julius Cesar didn’t use those exact words in his letter to the Roman Senate…  but for sure he knew artichokes already. Roman and Greeks didn’t actually grow them, but they knew the wild progenitor of our modern artichokes: the “Cynara cardunculus”, the Cardoon. And since they believed it had aphrodisiac properties, they named it “Cynara”, after a girl who got “seduced” by Zeus  – one of the many according to the records – and who eventually turned herself (or got turned?) into a cardoon… what a lucky girl!

Artichokes alla romana: Roman style

This is a classic of roman cooking tradition: braised artichokes stuffed with parsley, garlic, mint and bread. To be eaten leaf by leaf rigorously using your hands: there’s no other way! Only the soft and juicy heart can be politely eaten using cutlery… but, why bother?

With or without the stalks

The tradition dictates to keep the stalks attached to the heart, but if the artichokes are not extremely fresh, it is quite tricky to peel them effectively without breaking them. So I suggest to get over this, chop the stalks off and cook them separately.

Note for the users: please click on the label “HOW TO” to watch the slide-show of each cooking step.

* Please note that both total cost and cost per portion are approximate and that can vary according to seasons and to different conditions.

Recipe Rating

  • (1 Rating)

Ingredients

  • Cold water - 2lt

  • Parsley - 3 to 4 sprigs [part 1of 2]

  • in alternative, the juice of one lemmon
  • Globe artichokes - 4

  • Parsley sprigs - 90 to 100gr [part 2of 2]

  • Mint - 2 to 3 sprigs

  • "Suited garlic”cloves - 2 [part 1of 2]

  • Stale bread - 200gr

  • Extra virgin olive - 20gr [part 1of 2]

  • Salt - to taste

  • Black pepper corns - 2gr

  • "Suited garlic”cloves - 3 [part 2of 2]

  • Extra virgin olive - 30gr [part 2of 2]

  • Cold water - 0,8lt to 1lt

  • Utensils

  • One large bowl

  • One pestle and mortar

  • One paring knife or a shaping knife

  • One sharp chef knife

  • One chopping board

  • One mellon baller

  • One 4-5lt saucepan with lid

  • One spoon

  • One food processor

  • One hand blender

  • Two wooden or silicon spatulas

  • One ladle

Instructions

  • 1.
    Cleaning and paring the artichokes

    • Cold water - 2lt
    • Parsley - 3 to 4 sprigs [part 1of 2]
    • in alternative, the juice of one lemmon

    • Globe artichokes - 4
    • Mint - 2 to 3 sprigs
    • Parsley sprigs - 90 to 100gr [part 2of 2]
    • Globe artichokes - 4
    • One large bowl
    • One chopping board
    • One paring knife or a shaping knife
    • One sharp chef knife
    • One mellon baller

      Fill the bowl with cold water and break a few parley sprigs directly into it: just like lemon juice, it will prevent the artichokes to blacken (step 1 - pic. A). Then, thoroughly wash the artichokes, the parsley and the mint under running water.
      Cut off the artichoke stalk and set this aside for later (step 1 - pic. B).
      With the chef knife, cut the artichoke’s top, about at 3 quarters of its length (step 1 - pic. C).
      Peel off the hard external leaves of the artichoke until you expose the thinner and more tender leaves. With the paring knife or the shaping knife, clean the base of the artichoke’s heart running the blade around it, almost like if you were peeling an apple (step 1 - pic. D).
      Slightly spread the leaves from the centre exposing the pale and thin central leaves, then use a mellon baller (or the paring knife) to scoop out all the hairy bottom, until completely clean (step 1 - pic. E).
      Put the artichoke upside down into the bowl with water and parsley.
      Then repeat all this for the rest of the artichokes and collect all their stalk aside.
      At the end, with the paring knife, clean the stalks’ end and peel them, discarding the outer hard green and fibrous skin to expose their softer core. Then add them to the artichokes in the bowl (step 1 - pic. F).

  • 2.
    Making the stuffing with parsley, mint, garlic and stale bread

    • The clean parsley - 90 to 100gr
    • The clean mint - 2 to 3 sprigs
    • “Suited garlic” cloves - 2 [part 1of 2]
    • Stale bread - 200gr
    • Salt - to taste
    • Black pepper corns - 2gr
    • One pestle and mortar
    • One food processor
    • One paring knife or a shaping knife

      Finely crush the black pepper into the mortar and set aside.
      Separate the parley and mint leaves form their stalks and place them into the food processor.
      Peel the garlic and chop it roughly directly into the food processor, then add the stale bread braking it into rough chunks with your hands (step 2 - pic. A).
      Season with salt and pepper to taste, then process the ingredients together long enough to obtain an uniform mixture (step 2 - pic. B).

  • 3.
    Seasoning and stuffing the artichokes

    • The artichokes
    • Salt - to taste
    • The crushed black pepper
    • Extra virgin olive - 20gr [part 1of 2]
    • One spoon

      Take the artichokes out of the bowl and season them to taste with salt, black pepper and extra virgin olive oil (step 3 - pic. A).
      Then, stuff them with the processed mixture, trying to distribute some of it also in between the leaves (step 3 - pic. B).

  • 4.
    Braising the artichokes bottom up

    • “Suited garlic” cloves - 3 [part 2of 2]
    • Extra virgin olive - 30gr [part 2of 2]
    • The stalks
    • The stuffed artichokes
    • Cold water - 0,8lt to 1lt
    • One 4-5lt saucepan with lid

      Put the extra virgin olive oil, the unpeeled garlic, the stalk into the saucepan and then place the artichokes into it with their base facing up.
      Add enough cold water to cover the artichokes up to the start of their leaves, leaving out the hearts (step 4 - pic. A).
      Set the heat on a medium high power and cover the saucepan with its lid.
      Let the artichokes braise for about 30 minutes of until the artichokes hearts are almost done: check them with a fork or a toothpick (step 4 - pic. B).

  • 5.
    Turning the artichokes, reducing and processing the sauce

    • The braising artichokes in the saucepan
    • Two wooden or silicon spatulas
    • One ladle
    • One hand blender

      Gently turn the artichokes upside down using the spatulas so the stuffing will not spill out. Let the sauce reduce for about 10 minutes while basting the artichokes from time to time (step 5 - pic. A).
      Take the artichokes out and set aside together with the stalks that remained whole: leave the others inside.
      Take out the garlic cloves and process the sauce with a hand blender to obtain a smooth and creamy sauce (step 5 - pic. B).
      Serve the artichokes hot together with their stalks.
      The artichokes can be reheated over a gentle heat later on adding some water to the gravy and reducing it again. Since it contains part of the starchy bread from the filling, it tend to stick to the bottom and burn quite easily, so you will need to keep an eye on it.

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Instructions

  • 1.
    Cleaning and paring the artichokes

    • Cold water - 2lt
    • Parsley - 3 to 4 sprigs [part 1of 2]
    • in alternative, the juice of one lemmon

    • Globe artichokes - 4
    • Mint - 2 to 3 sprigs
    • Parsley sprigs - 90 to 100gr [part 2of 2]
    • Globe artichokes - 4
    • One large bowl
    • One chopping board
    • One paring knife or a shaping knife
    • One sharp chef knife
    • One mellon baller

      Fill the bowl with cold water and break a few parley sprigs directly into it: just like lemon juice, it will prevent the artichokes to blacken (step 1 - pic. A). Then, thoroughly wash the artichokes, the parsley and the mint under running water.
      Cut off the artichoke stalk and set this aside for later (step 1 - pic. B).
      With the chef knife, cut the artichoke’s top, about at 3 quarters of its length (step 1 - pic. C).
      Peel off the hard external leaves of the artichoke until you expose the thinner and more tender leaves. With the paring knife or the shaping knife, clean the base of the artichoke’s heart running the blade around it, almost like if you were peeling an apple (step 1 - pic. D).
      Slightly spread the leaves from the centre exposing the pale and thin central leaves, then use a mellon baller (or the paring knife) to scoop out all the hairy bottom, until completely clean (step 1 - pic. E).
      Put the artichoke upside down into the bowl with water and parsley.
      Then repeat all this for the rest of the artichokes and collect all their stalk aside.
      At the end, with the paring knife, clean the stalks’ end and peel them, discarding the outer hard green and fibrous skin to expose their softer core. Then add them to the artichokes in the bowl (step 1 - pic. F).

  • 2.
    Making the stuffing with parsley, mint, garlic and stale bread

    • The clean parsley - 90 to 100gr
    • The clean mint - 2 to 3 sprigs
    • “Suited garlic” cloves - 2 [part 1of 2]
    • Stale bread - 200gr
    • Salt - to taste
    • Black pepper corns - 2gr
    • One pestle and mortar
    • One food processor
    • One paring knife or a shaping knife

      Finely crush the black pepper into the mortar and set aside.
      Separate the parley and mint leaves form their stalks and place them into the food processor.
      Peel the garlic and chop it roughly directly into the food processor, then add the stale bread braking it into rough chunks with your hands (step 2 - pic. A).
      Season with salt and pepper to taste, then process the ingredients together long enough to obtain an uniform mixture (step 2 - pic. B).

  • 3.
    Seasoning and stuffing the artichokes

    • The artichokes
    • Salt - to taste
    • The crushed black pepper
    • Extra virgin olive - 20gr [part 1of 2]
    • One spoon

      Take the artichokes out of the bowl and season them to taste with salt, black pepper and extra virgin olive oil (step 3 - pic. A).
      Then, stuff them with the processed mixture, trying to distribute some of it also in between the leaves (step 3 - pic. B).

  • 4.
    Braising the artichokes bottom up

    • “Suited garlic” cloves - 3 [part 2of 2]
    • Extra virgin olive - 30gr [part 2of 2]
    • The stalks
    • The stuffed artichokes
    • Cold water - 0,8lt to 1lt
    • One 4-5lt saucepan with lid

      Put the extra virgin olive oil, the unpeeled garlic, the stalk into the saucepan and then place the artichokes into it with their base facing up.
      Add enough cold water to cover the artichokes up to the start of their leaves, leaving out the hearts (step 4 - pic. A).
      Set the heat on a medium high power and cover the saucepan with its lid.
      Let the artichokes braise for about 30 minutes of until the artichokes hearts are almost done: check them with a fork or a toothpick (step 4 - pic. B).

  • 5.
    Turning the artichokes, reducing and processing the sauce

    • The braising artichokes in the saucepan
    • Two wooden or silicon spatulas
    • One ladle
    • One hand blender

      Gently turn the artichokes upside down using the spatulas so the stuffing will not spill out. Let the sauce reduce for about 10 minutes while basting the artichokes from time to time (step 5 - pic. A).
      Take the artichokes out and set aside together with the stalks that remained whole: leave the others inside.
      Take out the garlic cloves and process the sauce with a hand blender to obtain a smooth and creamy sauce (step 5 - pic. B).
      Serve the artichokes hot together with their stalks.
      The artichokes can be reheated over a gentle heat later on adding some water to the gravy and reducing it again. Since it contains part of the starchy bread from the filling, it tend to stick to the bottom and burn quite easily, so you will need to keep an eye on it.

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