There are three things I don’t like about artichokes: (1) it is a lot of work to clean them, (2) they don’t go well with wine, and (3) you can only eat a small part of them and have to throw away the rest. Simona solved the third issue by using the discarded parts to make artichoke soup and posted about it on her blog Grembiule da Cucina. She pressure cooked the discarded parts, and then passed them through a foodmill. I used this idea to create these artichoke ravioli. It is still a lot of work and they don’t go well with wine, but they turned out very tasty indeed. Here’s what I did…
For 40 ravioli
2 large artichokes
1 Tbsp minced fresh flat leaf parsley, divided
100 grams (3.5 oz) ricotta
zest of 1/2 lemon
50 grams (1.8 oz) freshly grated pecorino + more for serving
1 small onion, minced
extra virgin olive oil
For the pasta dough
200 grams (1 1/3 cups) Italian 00 flour
Trim the tip of the stem of the artichokes and discard.
Cut the artichokes in quarters and remove the fuzzy stuff with a small sharp knife. Discard the fuzzy stuff.
With a small sharp knife trim away all the tough leaves until only the tender hearts of the artichokes are left. Reserve all the trimmings.
Put the artichokes hearts in water with a bit of lemon juice to prevent them from discoloring.
Put all the artichoke trimmings in a pressure cooker and cover with water.
Bring to pressure and pressure cook for 1.5 hours.
Drain the artichoke trimmings and transfer to the food processor.
Process until it becomes as fine as it gets. Even after 1.5 hours in the pressure cooker, the artichokes I used were pretty tough.
Use a food mill to separate the artichoke pulp from the tough stringy bits.
Keep cranking the food mill until only the tough stringy bits are left.
There will still be quite a lot to discard, but at least you know that you have extracted everything that is edible.
Reduce the artichoke pulp in a saucepan over medium heat…
…until it is nice and thick. You should end up with about 100 grams (3.5 oz) of reduced artichoke pulp.
Sauté the onion in 2 Tbsp of olive oil over low heat until soft and fragrant, about 10-15 minutes.
Combine 1 egg, the lemon zest, pecorino, half the parsley, the sautéed onions and the reduced artichoke pulp in the food processor. Season with salt.
Process until the mixture is homogeneous. Taste and add more salt if needed, remembering the the filling for ravioli should always be slightly over-seasoned.
Transfer the filling to a piping bag and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow it to firm up.
Meanwhile, make pasta dough and allow it to rest for half an hour. Then roll it out as thinly as you can, and make ravioli.
Arrange the ravioli on a surface sprinkled with flour. If you are not cooking them straight away, turn them over after about 15 minutes so the underside can dry as well (rather than sticking).
If you have a sous-vide cooker, vacuum seal the artichoke hearts with a bit of salt and extra virgin olive oil…
…and cook them sous-vide for 1 hour at 84ºC/183ºF.
Alternatively, cook the artichoke hearts in simmering water with a bit of salt and extra virgin olive oil until they are tender but still firm to the bite, about 15 minutes.
Slice the artichokes hearts. Cook the ravioli in ample salted boiling water for a couple of minutes. Serve them on preheated plates with the artichoke hearts. Drizzle with a bit of good extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with the remaining parsley and freshly grated pecorino.
Cheese puffs are really good, filled or just by themselves. They are a bit of work to make, but definitely worth it. It’s really nice how ‘light’ they are.