Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Spicy Tuscan Stuffed Artichokes

Spicy Tuscan Stuffed Artichokes

Let's admit it.  Side dishes can be boring.  They're often the least exciting part of a meal, unless it's a saucy savior to a dry, overcooked entree!

And then, there's this guy.  A loaded artichoke, full of lovely Italian ingredients, including juicy pancetta and just a hint of heat.  My favorite feature of this recipe is that there's a touch of Bertolli Olive Oil in every element, the treasured taste of the heart of Tuscany, Italy!

These are easy to make and taste GREAT with your favorite cut of beef or lamb and a lovely red wine.  Make the rice ahead of time if you're in a crunch, and save the leftover stuffing for breakfast the next morning.  They're FANTASTIC with fried eggs and toast!

 Spicy Tuscan Stuffed Artichokes

Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 60 minutes / Servings: 4 artichoke halves

Spicy Tuscan Stuffed Artichokes

  • 6 tbsp. Bertolli Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 large artichokes, cut in half lengthwise and centers removed
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 oz. pancetta, diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 fresh garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili flake
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 4 Roma Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Add 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice and 2 tbsp. Bertolli Olive Oil to a large skillet.  Heat on medium heat and toast the rice for about 3 minutes, until it begins to smell flavorful.  Add the chicken broth, stir, and bring to a boil.  Once the broth boils, reduce heat to a simmer and cover.  Allow the rice to cook for about 20 minutes, until soft.  Keep 1 1/2 cups cooked rice for the recipe and reserve the leftovers for future use.  
  2. While the rice is cooking, fill a large pot with about 4 quarts of water.  Season generously with salt and bring to a boil.  Add the lemon juice and artichoke halves, cover, and allow to boil for about 20 minutes until the artichoke leaves are soft.  Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat a large skillet with another 2 tbsp. Bertolli Olive Oil on medium heat.  Add the diced pancetta and cook for about 3 minutes, until it begins to brown, stirring occasionally.  Add the bell pepper, sun dried tomatoes, capers, garlic, red chili flake, rosemary and thyme.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Stir until combined and cook on medium heat for 4-5 minutes until the peppers are soft.
  4. Add the chopped Roma tomatoes and cooked rice.  Drizzle in the remaining 2 tbsp. Bertolli Olive Oil and stir until combined. Continue to cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to break down.
  5. Stir in the frozen peas, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes until the peas are thawed and warm. 
  6. To serve:  Place the artichoke halves on a plate.  Generously spoon the stuffing into the center of the artichokes.  Garnish with fresh parsley, serve immediately.

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