My mama was the head everything in our household. She was the breadwinner, the cleaner, the grocery shopper, the meal planner and most importantly, the cook! She (thankfully) often cooked what she grew up eating, things my Nonna taught her and things she’s successfully tried hard to keep in the family. Therefore, we may have been a little spoiled by alllllll the good Italian eats I still love and make today. By the end of this Lagana Family Cooking Series, I swear y’all gonna be all “how many childhood favs did this girl have???” But it’s true, these Italian Stuffed Artichokes, only known as “Carciofoli” in this house, were no question an absolute all time favourite of mine.
ARTICHOKE = CARCIOFOLI
Now, you don’t think I’m just going to go ahead and keep calling Artichokes, Artichokes, do ya? Of course, we have to throw in a little Italian lesson. I’ve been calling artichokes “carciofoli” my entire life and my grandparents and parents are to blame for that. Every.single.time. we were having these magical stuffed artichokes for dinner and the word “carciofoli” was announced, it was game over in our household. Us kids were some pretty happy campers on those days, let me tell ya. Especially if we got to help make them!
ARE MAKING STUFFED ARTICHOKES HARD?
I always used to picture these things taking absolutely forever. Prrrrrobably because they’re just so dang good you wouldn’t think it’s possible in such a short amount of time. But when I did ’em the other day with mama, I surprisingly realized how easy they actually are! I started having blurred visions of an overwhelming number of artichokes landing in my grocery cart in the near future. Made with only a few delicious ingredients you probably already have on hand, these artichokes seriously cannot get any easier! I mean, once the actual stuffing process takes place (fun activity for kids, fyi), the cooking process is next to nothing. And by the way, let’s not talk about the eating process because that’s just as fun as all of the above.
You best believe this is one I’ll personally take the responsibility of passing down for generations to come.
NONNA’S STUFFED ARTICHOKES AKA “CARCIOFOLI”Course: Lunch, Main, Dinner, AppetizersCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Medium
This one’s a real treat.
What You’ll Need
1 pound Baby Artichokes (about 20-25)
1 cup Water
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1 cup Breadcrumbs*
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Start by trimming the artichokes: Peel away the bottom small leaves around the base of the choke. Cut a piece of the stem off of each one (ensure the cut is straight so the chokes stand flat) and roughly chop and set aside. Slice off the prickly part from the top (about 1/4 inch) and discard. As you run the chokes under water to clean them, gently pull apart the leaves to make way for the stuffing.
- In a bowl, add chopped stems, minced garlic, breadcrumbs, chopped parsley and salt and pepper. Mixed until well combined.
- When ready to stuff: hold each artichoke individually over the breadcrumb mixture. Using your hands, scoop the mixture into the chokes, opening the leaves with your fingers and pressing the stuffing down until full. Repeat until all the leaves and artichokes are full of the stuffing.
- Arrange the artichokes in a single layer in a deep dish skillet with a tight fitting lid. Add enough water (usually around 1 cup) to fill the bottom of the pan, submerging only the bottom parts of the chokes. Drizzle the chokes with olive oil and more salt and pepper. Cover.
- Turn the heat to high and allow the water to come to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 35-40 mins or until the chokes are soft and cooked through.
- We make our own breadcrumbs using day or two old bread we’ve left to harden on the counter. We pulse them into crumbs leaving a few larger pieces. Storebought works just as well.
INTERESTED IN MORE ITALIAN FAMILY FAVOURITES? HERE ARE SOME OF MINE: