Roman-Style Artichokes became our new obsession. The simplicity of the ingredients and how they dance together in perfect tune with your palate makes you realize that yes: Less is more!
In this recipe, we tell you about the artichoke’s beauty with a traditional dish from Lazio, the “Carciofi alla Romana” (Roman Style artichokes).
Whether you are from Rome or not, serving “Carciofi alla Romana” will always be a success!
The Origins of the Roman Artichokes
Artichokes are thought to be a domesticated version of the cardoon and have their root in Southern Italy.
At some point, a local artichoke variety was developed in the coastal area near Rome. This cultivar is known as the carciofo romanesco (Roman artichoke), in recognition of its origins.
The romanesco artichoke is rounder than other cultivars and is a little bigger than a tennis ball. The outer leaves are softer than those of the green ones meaning that most of the artichoke can be eaten with little thrown away. This has led to them being cooked and eaten whole.
The Right Ingredients for Roman-Style Artichokes
Nothing is left to chance in preparing this fragrant and straightforward side dish:
Choose the right variety of artichoke (the violet one AKA Romanesco artichoke). This variety is distinguished from the others by its rounder shape its thornless leaves.
Picking fresh parsley and mint (or even better: mentuccia), and using the right amount of garlic to flavor the inside.
Roman-Style Artichokes left over oil is great enjoy it eating with plain bread or using it as a simple delicious sauce for your next pasta.
Roman-Style Artichokes (Carciofi alla Romana)
- Small Saucepan
- 4 artichokes purple roman artichokes are better but others work as well
- 1 cup mint a bunch, preferably mentuccia romana the traditional roman variety
- 1 cup parsley a bunch
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil good fragrant one
- 1 lemon
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon salt adjust at the end
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- To prepare the Roman-style artichokes, start by cutting the lemon in half, filling a rather large bowl with water, and squeezing in the half lemon.
- Cut off the end of the stem and the tip of your artichoke.
- With your hands, spread the artichoke, use a small knife or a corer, and cut out the central part to eliminate the inner white beard.
- Peel the stem and round off the end using a sharp knife. Taking off the center hair-like inside that can pinch.
- Place the artichokes inside the lemon water.
- Cover with absorbent paper to keep the artichokes soaked in water and prevent them from flipping.
- Prepare the filling, chopping the mint and parsley coarsely.
- Roll the leaves and cut them with a knife without chopping them too much.
- Mince the garlic and mix it with the parsley and mint, along with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Drain the artichokes, shake them slightly to remove the excess water, and then use the mix to stuff them.
- Rub them with salt and pepper on the cutting board.
- Transfer the artichokes upside down into a small-medium pan, keeping them fairly close together.
- Pour in the oil followed by the water so that the artichokes are covered up to the stem’s top.
- Cover with a lid and cook for about 30 minutes over low heat.
- You can serve your Carciofi alla Romana (Roman-style artichokes) warm.