You are probably familiar with this dish’s cousin, Eggplant Parmigiana.  But when winter comes around and eggplants aren’t in season, artichokes can be substituted to make this amazing dish.

For a quick culinary background, artichokes are a variety of a species of thistle cultivated as a food.  The edible portion of the plant consists of the flower buds before the flowers come into bloom.

Cleaning the artichokes is key, and it’s not a simple task, honestly.  After pealing away the hard outer leaves, you still need to shave a layer of the “skin” away, and then, if they are on the mature side, you need to remove the choke before eating.

There are many delicious ways to prepare artichokes, but this is definitely one of our favorites.  To get the recipe for the tomato sauce, click here.

Artichoke Parmigiana
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
When winter comes around and eggplants aren't in season, make Artichoke Parmigiana in place of your regular Eggplant Parmigiana.
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Recipe yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 12 artichokes medium artichokes, cleaned & quartered
  • ½ Cup flour, regular or almond
  • Oil for frying (preferably Villa Cappelli extra virgin olive oil)
  • 00g of fresh scamorza cheese or mozzarella
  • 16oz. of tomato sauce (preferably a ragu sauce)
  • 150g of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • A few slices of mortadella
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (not mandatory)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 to 3 eggs
Instructions
  1. Clean the artichokes. First remove their outer leaves, then cut off about 2 to 3 cm of the upper leaves, Leave about 2 cm of their stalk. This should leave you with a topless bulb. Trim all the rest of the “skin” off as if “sharpening a pencil.” Cut them lengthwise into thin slices and place them in a bowl with water and a bit of lemon juice to prevent them from becoming dark.
  2. Take the slices and rinse them off. Put them in a plastic bag with the flour. Shake the slices in the bag with the flour until they are coasted. In a bowl, mix the eggs and 3 tablespoons of the grated cheese, and the chopped parsley. Then fry them in oil. Place on absorbent paper to dry.
  3. In a baking dish spread a few spoons of tomato sauce, then a layer of artichokes. Then add another thin layer of tomato sauce, followed by a thin layer of mozzarella or scamorza cheese, Parmigiano, and mortadella cut or torn into strips. Add one more thin layer of tomato sauce. Add another layer of artichokes, mozzarella or scamorza, and Parmigiano.
  4. Continue with the layers until you have no more ingredients (depends on the size of your pan) Bake at 350° F (180° C) for approximately 30 minutes.
  5. PLEASE NOTE: a lot of the ingredient sizes are really approximations, as it depends on the size of your artichokes, the size of your dish, and your particular tastes. A good rule of thumb for the egg batter is about 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of Parmigiano, and 1 tablespoon of parsley. Another good rule is you don’t want too much sauce, so go very thin on your layers. Otherwise, the dish can get a little runny. Other than that, feel free to add more cheese or mortadella to your liking!

 

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You might think growing up in a small town in Texas wouldn’t prepare you to live the Italian lifestyle. But in many ways — the family values, the small town culture, the love of food — is very similar to what you’ll find in Italian culture. In fact, I expect it’s pretty universal. Having been married to an Italian for 20 years, it’s been fun to learn and explore the rich Italian culture and share it with you.

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