Carciofi alla Romana


Roman artichokes

We’re fully in the season of Roman, or globe, artichokes. There are so many delicious ways to prepare them, but the best is Carciofi alla Romana.

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Carciofi alla romana

Carciofi alla romana

I usually buy artichokes that have already been partially cleaned at the market, in other words all the tough outer leaves removed, plus the outer layer of the stem. If you can’t find them, not to worry, they’re easy to prepare:

I use a melon baller to remove the beard from inside the artichoke.

Once this is done finely chop a garlic clove, two handfuls of mentuccia leaves, a heaping tablespoon of fresh breadcrumbs and a drizzling of olive oil. This is enough stuffing for four artichokes.

Cleaning artichokes

Cleaning artichokes

Use your fingers to put the stuffing into the center of each artichoke, plus some in between the leaves.

Lay the artichokes sideways in a pan, drizzle with olive oil, 1/2 cup dry white wine and enough water to keep the artichokes moist.Cover and cook 20 to 30 minutes, until very tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Turn the artichokes over occasionally during the cooking process.

Serve warm or at room temperature!

Carciofi alla Romana (Artichokes Stuffed with Garlic, Breadcrumbs, and Calamint)

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 Artichokes globe artichokes are ideal

For the acidulated water

  • 3 medium lemons Lemon juice, fresh squeezed
  • 4 cups Water

For the filling

  • 1/4 cup Breadcrumbs, optional
  • 2 cloves Garlic finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons Fresh calamint and/or parsley finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Salt

For cooking the artichokes

  • 60 milliliters Olive oil 1/4 cup
  • 120 milliliters Water 1/2 cup
  • 120 millilitres Dry white wine, optional 1/2 cup

Instructions

  1. Prepare a bowl of cold water and lemon juice (acidulated water) for the cleaned artichokes to keep them from turning brown as you work.

  2. Clean the artichokes by removing the tough outer leaves and peeling away the tough outer layer of the stem with a vegetable peeler.

  3. Cut off the top 1/4 to 1/3 of the artichokes.

  4. Rap artichokes gently on a cutting board to open them up.

  5. Remove the inner beard using a melon baller and return to the acidulated water.

  6. Combine the calamint or parsley, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt and garlic (and bread crumbs, if desired).

  7. Once all artichokes are cleaned, drain well and dry off.
  8. Place the calamint mixture in the center of each artichoke, then gently close the artichokes up by squeezing them back together.

  9. Put the remaining olive oil, water  and optional wine in a heavy pot just large enough to hold the artichokes.

  10. Add the artichokes top down or laying sideways and cook covered until tender or a knife pierces the artichokes, about 20 minutes.

Recipe Notes

A melon baller works beautifully to remove the inner beard of the artichoke. In alternative use a small spoon.

Broccoli Rabe Gnocchi with a Gorgonzola Sage Sauce

Broccoli rabe and ricotta gnocchi with a gorgonzola cream sauce

Have you ever tried to convince children to eat leafy green vegetables? It’s no simple task and honestly I’m not a champion of forcing children to eat anything against their will no matter how nutritious the food is. It’s a sure fire way to turn children against the pleasure and passion of eating.

The trick is to incorporate leafy greens into other tasty dishes. Gnocchi are a wonderful, delicious way to serve leafy greens to kids.

Kids aside, gnocchi are just plain delicious and these are about my favorite. I love leafy greens and I adore Gorgonzola!

Gorgonzola and sage

Gnocchi are simple to make and freeze well. Once they’re made cook them then toss in their sauce. Spread the gnocchi on cookie sheets and freeze. After the gnocchi are frozen break them into pieces and store in a ziplock bag.

How many nights have you come home from work and wondered what to make for dinner? Or just not felt like making dinner? Just grab enough gnocchi from the freezer for your meal and heat in the oven or a microwave until warm and sizzling!

Broccoli Rabe & Ricotta Gnocchi with Sage and Creamy Gorgonzola

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 kilogram (35 ounces) Spinach cleaned, 1 (35 ounces)
  • 250 grams (8 3/4 ounces) Ricotta cheese drained, 250 (8 3/4 ounces)
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 grams (3 1/2 ounces) Parmesan cheese grated , 100 (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 75 grams (2 3/4 ounces) Flour 75 (2 3/4 ounces)
  • 100 grams (3 1/2 ounces) Butter 100 (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 100 milliliters (1/2 cup) Cream 100 (1/2 cup)
  • 75 grams (2 1/2 ounces) Gorgonzola cheese 75 (2 1/2 ounces)
  • 10 to 20 leaves Sage finely chopped, 10–20
  • Additional Parmesan cheese for garnishing

Instructions

  1. Sauté the sage in the butter, add the Gorgonzola and cream and cook for a minute over low heat and set aside.

  2. Cook spinach, drain and squeeze very dry.
  3. Finely chop spinach.
  4. Mix eggs and ricotta cheese.
  5. Add the spinach, flour and half the Parmesan cheese and mix thoroughly.
  6. Roll the dough onto floured surface into long thin rolls and cut into 1 centimetre long pieces.

  7. Cook in boiling salted water until the gnocchi rise to the top.
  8. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in the sauce. *
  9. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Recipe Notes

*Note: At this point the gnocchi can be stored in fridge for next day use or frozen.

gorgonzola-and-sage-gnocchi-with-cream-sauce

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels sprouts

It’s winter vegetable season again and Brussels sprouts are one of my favorites! There are many wonderful ways to prepare them but they all stem around some variety of roasting which gives them their nutty, delicious flavor. Boiling and steaming are a no-no as this brings out a metallic, unpleasant flavor. Stick with some version of roasting, grilling, or sautéing.

I love Brussels sprouts on their own, but you can also try wrapping them in bacon or topping with toasted pine nuts or walnuts.

Here’s a recipe that’s high on nutrition and flavor but low on calories.

Clean the sprouts by trimming the stems and removing outer leaves, and then halving. Toss in a roasting pan with a tablespoon of extravirgin olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt: that’s it! Roast 20 minutes to a half hour at 375°F until golden and tender and serve.

Brussels sprouts

Roasted Brussels sprouts

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2

There are many wonderful ways to prepare Brussels Sprouts and they all stem around some variety of roasting which gives them their nutty, delicious flavor. Boiling and steaming are a no-no as this brings out an unpleasant flavor. Stick with some version of roasting, grilling, or sautéing.

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 370 grams Brussels sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

  2. Rinse Brussels sprouts.

  3. Trim the stem end and remove any browned leaves.

    Brussels sprouts
  4. Halve the sprouts from the stem end to the top.

  5. In a roasting pan, toss the sprouts with the olive oil and salt.

  6. Roast, turning occasionally, until the sprouts are tender and golden.

  7. Serve on their own or with roast potatoes and grilled or roast meats.

Here’s what Brussels sprouts look like on the plant. Although they’re tiny it takes them four months to come to maturity: roughly double the growing time of a big cabbage!

Brussels Sprouts Plant

 

 

 

 

 

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