You know it is the last gasp of the artichoke season when the large, round, flat mammole and romani appear on the produce tables at the market. Mammole, the sweetest kind of artichoke, are purple with heart-shaped petals. Also the biggest artichoke, their tight, fat leaves hide a large yet compact white pulp at the core. The best way to prepare them is to stuff them.
First, you need to clean them. Remove some of the tough outer leaves (not too many); peel the base of the heart, and cut the tops (again, not too much): starting at the center, run your thumbs along the cut edges of the leaves and press slightly, holding the artichoke in your hands and opening it, gently acting with a zigzag movement moving outwards. Once you have done that, use a teaspoon to scrape away the hairs’ at the artichoke’s core. Then follow the recipe below.
Mammole artichokes stuffed with mushrooms (serves four)
4 large mammole artichokes
200g chiodini mushrooms
40g ground almonds
1 egg, separated
2 leaves of mint, minced
Salt and pepper
40g extra virgin olive oil + 10 grams
1 garlic clove
Clean the mushrooms and cook them briefly with 10 grams of extra virgin olive oil and half a clove of garlic. When they are done, finely chop and mix them with the ground almonds, mint leaves and egg yolk. Whip up the egg white with a pinch of salt and incorporate into the mixture. Open the artichokes and fill them with the mixture. Place the artichokes in a pan that is narrow enough to contain them while standing. Add the 40 grams of olive oil, the second half of the garlic clove, and water to cover 2/3 of their height. Sprinkle with salt. Cover with a lid and cook on a low-medium flame for about 20 minutes. Serve as an appetizer with walnut or sesame bread. A bottle of Muller Thurgau, slightly sparkling, best accompanies this dish.