Over the weekend, while we were visiting my father-in-law in CT, we had these amazing stuffed artichokes that were filled with garlicky goodness and surrounded by a tomato sauce, instead of the typical oil or butter. Since I had some artichokes on hand, I decided I needed to recreate these by adding a few twists to my usual recipe. The results were just as good as the original, but better, because isn’t everything homemade better?!
FYI, these guys do come with a warning label: eat one of these and no human, animal, alien, ghost, or zombie will come within 300 yards of you for at least 24 hours. You see, there are 15, yes 15, cloves of garlic in these (how Italian of me). So basically, if you’re looking to play hooky, get rid of an unwanted ghost, or avoid a family reunion, you simply have to make a batch of these. It’s almost easier than making up a believable excuse…
- 4 artichokes
- 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 1 1/4 cup bread crumbs (I used Italian style)
- 15 cloves of garlic
- 4 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for the top
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 28 oz. jar crushed tomatoes (I used ones w/salt & basil added)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Clean and prepare your artichoke hearts. Peel back the leaves until it looks like an open flower blossom. Then remove the inner petals with the purple tops, by gently pulling them out. Next, scoop out the fuzzy pieces, making sure not to take the heart of the artichoke which is underneath (I found it easiest to use a grapefruit spoon for this step). Finally give the artichoke a rinse under water, shake it out, then squeeze a little lemon juice on the center to keep it from turning.
- In the bowl of a cuisinart, combine the bread crumbs, garlic, cheese, salt, and red pepper flakes. Pulse for a few seconds. Add in the olive oil and about a 2 inch piece of lemon (skin and all) and continue pulsing until everything is well combined (the mixture should be slightly sticky).
- In a glass 13x9 baking dish lay out your artichokes, keeping them upright as much as possible. Fill them with the stuffing, putting about 1/2 cup in each.
- Pour the tomatoes around the sides of the artichokes then cover the pan with foil. Bake for 40 minutes, then remove the foil, sprinkle on some extra cheese (if desired), and continue baking, foil removed, for about 10 more minutes.
- Cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. This goes well with a salad, and make sure you have some fresh bread to soak up the leftover sauce and filling.
- You can also use tomato sauce in place of the crushed tomatoes, and if you can only find whole tomatoes, simply puree them in the cuisinart for a few seconds before pouring them on top of the artichokes.