My Grandma is full blooded Italian (well, some Sicilian) and knows how to make veggies taste amazing! She has made these ever since I was a little girl for holidays and also when they are in season, and it is one of my all time favorite foods. I could make a meal out of one. Seriously! They are so good.
They are a fair amount of work, but so worth it. Seriously, go buy some and try this. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
- 4 artichokes, trimmed and cleaned
- 8 oz extra sharp cheddar or provolone
- 1/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 cup jarred spaghetti sauce
- 2 TBSP water to dilute sauce
- 1/2 cup water for bottom of pan (can add touch of sauce too)
Clean and trim artichokes. Cut bottoms flat and trim points off leaves. Spread leaves some in center.
I steam the stems as well. Place in steamer basket over water, cover and turn on high heat and let cook for 30-40 minutes, until a fork can go in the bottom and comes out easily. (They are a tad stinky when steaming)
Sprinkle 1/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs over the artichokes trying to get some in each leaf. Dilute sauce and drizle about 1/2 of it over leaves and then use the rest to top the middle of each artichoke. Can sprinkle a few more breadcrumbs over the middle for effect. Place in 9x13. Place cooked stems in too, if desired. Dump 1/3 cup of so of water in bottom of the pan so not to dry them out and so they won't burn. Cover loosely with foil and bake about 30 minutes, until cheese is melted and they are warm through.
To eat: Pull leaves off one by one, scraping each leaf clean with your teeth. The bottom of each leaf is where the "meat" is. The other part is not edible... place in bowl and keep eating. When there is no more cheese and the leave are no good, tear them off. Cut the "hair" off with knife and eat the heart. One of the best parts!
Variation: Dice some garlic fine and sprinkle into the leaves with the cheese before baking. So good!