Sunday, December 15, 2013

An Italian Recipe -- Sformato di carciofi (Artichoke Timbale)

Tonight I made a half recipe of this yummy dish, using artichokes, as they are used in Italy.

Artichokes are so tasty when prepared this way. The three steps for cutting out the heart can be seen here. Have nearby, a bowl of water, with a sliced lemon tossed in. As the artichoke heart is freed and sliced thinly, place those slices into the lemony water. This slows down oxidation. 

When prep work is complete, drain and rinse, then simmer the sliced hearts in a small saucepan of water until they are tender. For other pasta recipes, they can instead be sauté in olive oil. 

Recipe copied from Letizia Mattiacci

  • 8 artichokes
  • 6 eggs
  • 100 gr (3 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 200 gr (7 ounces) mozzarella or cow’s milk or caciotta thinly sliced
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoon bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 lemon

Put a large pan of water on the fire, squeeze the juice of the lemon in the water and add the squeezed lemon to it. This prevents the artichokes turning a scary turquoise color while cooking. Rinse artichokes and drop in the boiling water. Cook for 20 min or until one of the central leaves come away with a little give. Drain and cool. Pull away the outer tough leaves, peel and trim stems, and cut away the choke if there is any. Quarter artichokes and then cut quarters in half again.

Beat the eggs with the Parmesan and season. Butter a bundt-pan generously, then dust with the bread crumbs, knocking out the excess. Now build up the timbale in the pan by layering artichokes and cheese  ending with artichokes. Pour the egg and cheese mixture, sprinkle with an extra tablespoon or two of Parmesan and bake at 200 °C (390 °F) until set and golden.

Serves 8 as an appetizer, 6 as a vegetarian main. Serve at room temperature.

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