Carciofi alla Romana: Roman-style artichokes recipe
A tasty way to cook artichokes and a delicious pasta garnish
If, like me, you love artichokes, Rome is the perfect place for you. In the local tradition, we have two major ways of cooking them. One is 'Carciofi alla Giudia', Jewish-style artichokes, where the artichoke is fried twice. As a result, you have a crunchy and tasty artichoke that looks like an open flower. The second is 'Carciofi alla Romana' – artichokes cooked the Roman way – and it's quite simple to do.
First, clean the artichokes, take off the external leaves and cut the external part of the stem. Artichokes can be quite difficult to clean, as many of the leaves have to been removed. Once you're done, cut the top and squeeze and rub a lemon over it. At this point, you can fill the artichoke's centre with the mint and garlic (finely chopped) and a pinch of salt.
Put them in a pan with high edges, placing them heads down. Add as much oil as is necessary, then fill with water until the level reaches up to the stems. Cook very slowly for 30 minutes, covering the pan with its lid. Once they're ready, you can serve the artichokes with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Carciofi alla Romana can be also used as a pasta garnish. Just cut them into pieces, then mix them with your favorite pasta, a drizzle of olive oil and some grated Parmesan cheese.