When I go back in Sicily I always take the chance to dust off some family recipe with my mum .
Last time it was the turn of crowned artichokes. How do you “crown” an artichoke? With a bit of technique and a tempting frittata, of course!
Including the typical products coming from the rural areas surrounding Palermo (artichokes, eggs, pecorino cheese), this is a traditional peasant dish. When artichokes are in season, it is a a very popular Sunday lunch “must” on Sicilian tables. In the south of Italy, artichokes are definitely more common and affordable than we are used in Ireland. So you can prepare it with a few euro and you can also have a very rich sauce to season your pasta.
Doing all this in Ireland is a bit more demanding because it is not always easy to find good quality fresh artichokes and, even if you are lucky, you have to pay them a bit more. But, believe me, all your investment in terms of haunting and money will be abundantly rewarded with an amazing flavour.
The execution requires a little of attention to detail. So I decided to share with you all the steps. Exactly as my mum taught me.
Ingredients €14.00 (4 Servings)
- Violet Artichokes 4 units
- Tomato Passata 1,5 l
- Grated Pecorino Cheese 2 tsps
- Eggs 4 units
- Salt (one pinch) units
First of all, prepare the tomato sauce. Finely dice the onion and cook it gently in a pot with the 2 spoons of olive oil. When the onion becomes transparent add the tomato passata, add one pinch of salt and bring it gently to boil.
Clean the artichokes. Cut the tips. Remove the outer leaves, leaving only the tender ones.. Scrape the stems and cut the top with all its thorns
For this reason, avoid the globe artichokes that have a round shape and are more difficult to adapt to your filling. The best option, if you can find them, are the violet artichokes.
Then beat the facing down artichokes on a board and slightly open the leaves with your finger. If you can reach it, remove the beard with a little sharp knife. Put the artichokes in a large bowl with cold water and lemon juice (In order to avoid the oxidation and preserve their colour.
In the meantime, prepare the filling. Beat the eggs with the grated pecorino cheese and a pinch of salt. Add enough breadcrumb to obtain a semi – solid mixture.
Heat a pan with abundant olive oil (approximately 1 cm deep).
With a spoon add the filling to the tops of the artichokes and press to make it to penetrate in the interior.
When the oil is hot (but not smoking) put in the artichoke in,l head down and let the frittata frying.
When the frittata mix is well fried, immerge the artichoke in the tomato sauce. Repeat the steps for all the artichokes and let it simmer until the stems becomes slightly soft.
Serve it warm with a ton of crusty bread and enjoy!
Tips: in my family, we like to keep it simple, but if you want you can add some cooked ham to the mix. It will be even more delicious!Tags: artichokes, eggs, frittata, recipe, sicilian food, stuffed artichokes, vegetarian, violet artichokes