Ben and I went to a cooking class with some friends at Whole Foods last month.
The menu featured a selection of foods centered around the theme "A Night in Roma." We made spaghetti carbonaro, braised pork, asparagus with prosciutto and pecorino, semolina gnocchi, zuppa inglese and roman style artichokes. (Carciofi alla romana) It was all delicious.
I came home and showed the menu to my parents, who were in town for a visit and my dad was intrigued by the artichoke recipe. My mom and I decided to try and recreate the recipe while they were here - with a few modifications.
Carciofi alla Romana
4 globe artichokes
1/2 cup parsley leaves
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups freshly chopped bread
1/2 cup chopped olives
1 cup Parmesan cheese
Remove stems from water. Peel and dice.
Place in a bowl and add roughly chopped bread. I used the inside of a round loaf of bread that I was using for a stuffed sandwich.
Remove the artichokes from the water. Drain. Stuff each cavity with stuffing.
Transfer artichokes to a serving dish and enjoy.
I prefer to scoop out the stuffing and eat it first. When the artichoke was empty, I pulled out each leaf individually and scraped the "meat" off of the end with my teeth. (A process of eating that I am not completely comfortable with.) The artichoke itself did not have a lot of flavor but I think that is because this is not artichoke season. I am going to try this again in the Spring when the artichokes are at the peak of freshness.
This recipe is perfectly suited for the cook who has a lot of patience and a lot of extra time. For the true artichoke lover - go for it - it will be well worth the effort. For those of you who prefer something simpler but still like the taste of artichokes - stick to the artichoke dip.
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