Each artichoke will be a full and complete meal in itself. It's not necessary to serve with any thing else.
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Italian Stuffed Artichokes
Yields: 6 servings
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 30 min
1 pound lean sliced bacon
5 cups coarsely-chopped bread crumbs*
1 1/2 cups grated
Parmesan Cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano)
1 1/2 cups grated
Peccorino Romano cheese
1 cup chopped green
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
salt or to taste.
1 tablespoon freshly-ground
1 tablespoon red (cayenne) pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin
* Learn how to
Make Homemade Bread Crumbs.
In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, fry the
bacon until crisp; drain. Crumble into a large bowl and add bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese,
Romano cheese, green onions, parsley, garlic, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper; toss to combine.
Cut about 3/4-inch off the tops of each artichoke. With
your scissors, snip off the pointed ends of each artichoke leaf. Rub a lemon on the cut
ends to prevent browning. Slice off the stem end of each artichoke so that they sit up
straight. Spread the leaves of each artichoke as much as possible, and pack in a generous
amount of bread stuffing around each artichoke. Tap each artichoke gently to let any loose
stuffing fall off. Stand them in a casserole or roasting pan just large enough to hold
them in a single layer. Add water to a depth of 1 1/2 inches.
Wash under cold, running water.
Pull off lower petals and cut
Cut off about 1/2 inch of the
pointed top of the artichoke.
Trim tips of leaves with
scissors to remove thorns.
Dip in lemon juice to preserve
Pour a generous amount of olive oil over each
artichoke, letting it seep in. Top each artichoke with a slice of lemon. Bring the water
to a boil, cover, reduce heat to let and steam the artichokes approximately 1 hour
(depending on size of artichokes) or until the leaves pull off easily. Test for doneness
by pulling out a leaf and tasting for tenderness. Check the water level after about 25
minutes, and add more if necessary.
Serve hot or at room
temperature. The stuffed artichokes can be prepared in advance and reheated
before serving. Any leftover stuffing keeps for 2 weeks in the refrigerator and longer in the freezer.
Option: Sprinkle grated Parmagiano Reggiano cheese over
the top and place briefly under a broiler until cheese melts and begins to brown.
Makes 6 servings.