Italian Stuffed Artichokes is an easy recipe made with simple ingredients. They are perfect as an appetizer or as a side dish.
Unlike the famous Roman style artichokes that are stuffed with a mixture of herbs, this recipe includes bread and cheese in the filling.
The delicious flavor of the artichokes is not covered but enhanced by a simple filling made with bread crumbs, Parmigiano cheese, garlic and parsley. These ingredients enrich the dish that can be considered more complete and not just a side dish.
In this recipe the artichokes are first boiled slowly in a little water. So they soften and absorb all the flavors. Then they are baked a few minutes, to form a delicious crispy, golden surface!
Double cooking makes Italian stuffed artichokes amazing: tender inside and slightly crispy outside. Simply irresistible!
You just have to try making this easy and delicious recipe!
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Italian Stuffed Artichokes Recipe
- Prep Time: 30 Min
- Cook Time: 40 Min
- Yelds: 6
Kitchen Tools and Equipment
To make the recipe for stuffed artichokes are useful all the necessary kitchen tools for cleaning them.
First of all a cutting board, on which to place and cut the artichokes.
Than a sharp knife to remove the parts to discard.
Most importantly, you need a Stainless Steel Corer to remove the middle part of the artichoke and spread the leaves well.
If you chose an artichoke variety with thorns, we recommend using sturdy gloves, such as gardening gloves, to clean them.
You need an electric chopper to prepare the artichoke stuffing, really useful to chop all the ingredients well.
This recipe has two types of cooking. For about 30 minutes, the artichokes are stewed in a little water, so you’ll need a pot with a lid. For the gratin-step, you’ll need to transfer the artichokes to a baking dish.
Finally, for serving stuffed artichokes and other vegetable or rustic dishes, we point out some Italian ceramic dinnerware set. Hand-painted kitchen plates with various decorations. They are very beautiful and will enrich your table in dinners with friends or for a special occasion.
How to Clean Artichokes
Start by cleaning the artichokes. Obviously, this task will be more difficult and time consuming if you have chosen artichokes with thorns!
Step 1) – TIP: When cleaning artichokes, they release a liquid that stains your hands. Therefore, we recommend using disposable gloves or running lemon juice over your hands to protect them.
Cut off the stem at the base of the leaves. Then remove the outermost leaves, which are the hardest.
Step 2) – Cut off the tips of the artichoke. Finally, cut off the base so that the artichoke can stand upright.
Step 3) – Using a small sharp knife or a stainless steel corer, remove the bundle of silky leaves you see in the center. These are hairy looking filaments with some small leaves with spines. You will want to remove them entirely because they are not edible.
Then, with the help of a teaspoon, spread out the center of the artichoke, which should be stuffed with the filling.
Step 4) – Squeeze the lemon juice into a bowl filled with water. As you prepare the artichokes, immerse them in the bowl. This will prevent the artichokes from turning a dark color.
Prepare the Filling
Step 5) – Now prepare the filling. In a bowl, place the bread crumbs, grated Parmigiano cheese, minced garlic and parsley finely chopped. Add a pinch of salt and three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Mix until the mixture is smooth but still fairly “sandy”.
Step 6) – Now remove the artichokes from the water and fill them with the stuffing to the brim. Cover the entire top well and press the filling down to compact it.
How to Cook Italian Stuffed Artichokes
Now we need to cook the stuffed artichokes. First we are going to boil them slowly in a little water, so they soften and absorb all the flavors. Then we’re going to bake them in the oven for a few minutes, to form a delicious crispy, golden surface.
Double cooking makes Italian stuffed artichokes amazing: tender inside and slightly crispy outside. So let’s do it!
Step 7) – Pour some water in a saucepan and immerse the artichokes. It’s VERY IMPORTANT that the water does not reach more than 1/3 of the artichoke, so the water level should be just above the base of the artichoke.
Add a drizzle of oil and a pinch of salt. Cover the saucepan with a lid and cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, making sure the artichokes don’t get too dry. Check the cooking from time to time with a fork.
Step 8) – When they are tender, transfer them to an oiled baking pan. Bake for another 10 minutes at 180°C (350F). During the last 3-4 minutes you can turn on the grill function to brown the surface a little bit.
Italian Stuffed Artichokes are ready! Let them cool for a few minutes before serving.
You can store Italian stuffed artichokes for 2-3 days in the refrigerator, covered with foil or sealed in a food container. We do not recommend freezing them.
Instead, you can freeze already cleaned artichokes by boiling them for about 5 minutes before freezing. This way you will have the artichokes ready to be stuffed and proceed with the recipe as stated above.
Italian Stuffed Artichokes: Some Variants
This Italian recipe for stuffed artichokes is very simple. Since the filling has no meat or fish, it goes very well with many dishes as a side dish.
There are some regional Italian variations to this recipe that add ingredients related to tradition and territory. Let’s see some of them.
Sicilian Stuffed Artichokes
If you want to make stuffed artichokes Sicilian style, add 2 or 3 anchovies in oil and a handful of capers to the filling.
Stuffed Artichokes Neapolitan Style
For stuffed artichokes as they make them in Naples, replace the Parmigiano cheese with shredded provola cheese (sweet or smoked, depending on taste).
Artichokes Stuffed with Tomato Sauce
Another popular variation in Calabria and Puglia is stuffed artichokes with tomato sauce.
Instead of doing the final cooking in the oven, finish cooking the artichokes in a saucepan, adding half a cup of tomato sauce. Cover with a lid, possibly made of glass and cook for about 15-20 minutes on low heat.
Italian Stuffed Artichokes with Meat
Obviously, many variations can be made according to one’s tastes as well. Those who love meat and want to make a richer and more complete dish can add minced meat, sausage or diced ham to the stuffing.
It’s very important not to exaggerate with very tasty ingredients which would overpower and alter the taste of the artichoke.
How to Choose the Better Artichokes
There are indeed many varieties of artichokes. They are generally loosely classified into spiny and non-spiny, green and purple, winter and spring artichokes.
For this recipe we used a type of spiny artichoke.
The “Spinoso di Sardegna” (also cultivated in Liguria) is a very popular variety, for its unmistakable and intense flavor. The “Spinoso di Sardegna” and the “Carciofo Romanesco” (Mammola) are the most common varieties in Italy and both are suitable for this recipe.
In any case, prefer large sized artichokes because they are much easier to stuff.
As for the most known varieties of artichokes abroad, we can say that for this recipe are perfect the Green Globe artichoke and the California Imperial Star artichoke, as well as the more renowned Lyon artichoke.
How to Pick an Artichoke at the Store
In addition to choosing large sized artichokes, you should also make sure they are fresh and in season.
First, artichokes should feel heavy and full when you hold them. If they’re light, it’s a sign that they’re a little old, probably fibrous, so hard to eat and with little flavor.
Also, when you’re holding a fresh artichoke, the leaves should “squeak” when you squeeze them.
Another thing to check is the opening of the leaves. If an artichoke already has enlarged and unopened leaves, it is a sign that it’s old.
The main season for artichokes is winter but there is a shorter second season in the spring.
Buy artichokes when they are in season and you will have a better chance of choosing the best ones.