One of my favorite Italian-American cookbooks is “The Sopranos Cookbook” (but seriously, don’t let the book’s name scare you away)! Across this cookbook’s pages, I can relive my childhood at dinnertime—a great deal of which was spent at my grandmother’s home on Sackett Street in Brooklyn—just a few doors down from the Cammareri Bros. Bakery (yes, the same one as in the movie “Moonstruck”!)
I grew up on stuffed artichokes and could never get enough of my mom’s. Fortunately, we have the recipe. These artichokes are stuffed with a savory bread crumb and Romano and/or Pecorino cheese mixture, and we steam them for about one hour until cooked through and tender. To finish the cooking, we transfer them to a baking pan and put them under the oven broiler to ensure a golden crust on top …melt-in-your-mouth delicious! Just in case you don’t know, artichokes are low in fat and rich in fiber! Next time you’re tempted to take the mayo or butter route, make Sicilian stuffed artichokes, ala Zingale!
Cook’s notes: Always buy artichokes fresh, firm and without discoloration. Evenly cut off the stems and top. Then snip off the thorny leaf tips (they’re brutal) with kitchen shears!
Artichokes cook at varied rates, depending on size and freshness. If overcooked, the artichokes will fall apart and become soggy. Watch them and pull a test leaf to be sure.