CARCIOFI ALLA ROMANA

Each ingredient has a story that begins with its characteristics. Leathery leaves, tender heart: in this recipe we tell you about the beauty of the artichoke with a dish of the Lazio tradition, the Roman-style artichokes. Nothing is left to chance in the preparation of this simple and fragrant side dish: from the choice of the variety of artichoke, the violet (or Roman artichoke) which stands out from the others for its rounder shape and non-thorny leaves. Then the mint (or better still mint), the garlic clove to flavor the inside. And the magic happens tightly in a pan: with a gentle and slow cooking this hard-skinned flower turns into a delicious soft and fragrant side dish. Whether you are from Rome or not, serving artichokes alla romana will always be a success, perhaps together with fried cod alla romana (in batter)! In addition to the variant proposed here, we also remember the artichokes alla giudia: the origins of both dishes are once again to be found in ancient times when, to feed themselves, the farmers used what the land provided them, in this case the artichokes. Furthermore, with violets, you can also make tasty artichokes stuffed with eggs and cheese, an appetizing vegetarian main course with a stringy heart! To prepare the Roman artichokes, first start by cutting the lemon in half 1. Then fill a rather large bowl with water and squeeze the half lemon inside 2 and rub the remaining part on your hands, in this way you do not they will blacken when cleaning the artichokes. Take your artichokes and start removing the outer leaves by tearing them with your hands 3. Then cut the final part of the stem 4 and the tip of your artichoke 5. With your hands spread the artichoke and using a small knife or a digger, also cut the central part in order to eliminate the internal beard 6. Peel the stem and round the final part using a sharp knife 7. Place the artichoke inside the acidulated water 8 and continue like this for the others. Cover with absorbent paper that will serve to keep the artichokes immersed in water 9, set aside and in the meantime take care of the filling. Take the mint, roll the leaves and cut them with a knife 10 without grinding them too much. Switch to the garlic, peel it, cut it first into 11 slices and then chop it too. Add it to mint 12, add a pinch of salt 13, black pepper and mix everything. Drain the artichokes and beat them lightly to remove excess water, then use the freshly prepared mix to fill them 14. Massage them with salt and pepper arranged on the cutting board 15 and as they are ready transfer them upside down in a pan 16, keeping them rather close together. Then pour in both the oil 17 and the water 18, they must be covered up to the beginning of the stem. Cover with a lid 19 and cook for about 30 minutes over low heat. At this point 20 will be tender and you can serve your still hot Roman artichokes 21. STORAGE Roman-style artichokes can be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of 2-3 days immersed in their cooking liquid. If you have used all fresh ingredients it is possible to freeze them, closed in an airtight container.

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