Spring is here and with it appear bouquets of tightly closed artichokes. While cleaning artichokes may seem a painstaking process for some, I love the feel of their rubbery petals and the squeaking sound they make as you snap them off. My children love it too and we make short work of what might otherwise have been an arduous task.
In the meantime, if you are looking for other Italian Easter dishes, try torta pasqualina (greens, ricotta and egg pie), pizza di Pasqua (cheese bread), abbacchio (roast lamb), costolette di agnello alla griglia (grilled lamb chops with garlic, anchovy and rosemary), carciofi alla romana (artichokes with parsley, garlic and mint), vignarola (spring vegetable stew), agnello di sfoglia (chocolate and vanilla mille-feuille) and pastiera (Easter ricotta and wheat pie),
Agnello con carciofi (lamb and artichoke stew)
For step-by-step illustrated instructions, click here. Different versions of this dish abound where garlic is used together with or instead of onion, parsley instead of rosemary or lemon juice and/or eggs are added.
30 mls extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, skin removed and finely chopped (can substitute 1 clove of garlic)
1 kilo lamb shoulder, fat and silverskin removed and diced 3 cm
200 mls dry white wine
1 sprig rosemary, rinsed (can substitute 10 grams flat leaf parsley, leaves removed, rinsed and finely chopped)
4 artichokes, trimmed as per these instructions and quartered
Black pepper, freshly ground
- In a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and the onion over medium heat until the onion is soft (about 5-7 minutes).
- Turn the heat up and add the lamb, salt and pepper, stirring to sear the outside of the meat.
- Reduce the heat to low. Add the white wine and the rosemary and cook covered for 90 minutes. (Alternatively you can use a pressure cooker and cook for 45 min at 80ph.)
- Add the artichokes and cook for another 25 minutes or until the lamb and the artichokes are tender. (If you are using a pressure cooker, cook for another 15 minutes.)
- Taste to adjust the salt and pepper and serve.