Deep-Fried Roman Artichokes & An Angel Hair Pasta With Tomato, Mozzarella & Arugula

An impromptu vegetarian lunch. In the middle of arranging the flowers from Dimasalang, yesterday, the doorbell rang and three gorgeous artichokes presented themselves, a gift from a friend and neighbor. The artichokes probably still had jet-lag from their flight from Rome, but we wasted no time in crafting a quick menu for lunch to take advantage of the unexpected but welcome arrival. :)

The small and still tightly close “petals” of the fresh artichoke could easily have been incorporated into the floral arrangement. But we haven’t eaten artichokes in a while, so we were definitely having these for lunch!

Remove a whole lot of the leaves and stem and trim it so you have the more tender parts of the artichoke left…

…I actually OVER TRIMMED the stem, as the Romans are likely to leave another inch or two of the stem, though well peeled back to the tender core. Slice the chokes in half, and keep in an acidulated bath (lemon and water) to prevent them from discoloring. Remove some of the purple leaves or hairiest part of the choke, if necessary. Dry well, and let this stew in relatively low temperature oil for about 2-4 minutes (these were quite small) depending on size, and remove. Crank up the heat to say 375F and deep fry until they turn a little golden and crisp up on the edges. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Serve immediately. They possess a slightly chewy crisp texture with a tender, moist core. It’s hard to describe what they taste like, but they are a roman delicacy and often served this way when artichokes are in season…

We had a lot of tomatoes on hand, so we decided to make a simple fresh tomato sauce using 4-5 different locally grown tomatoes. Just add several tablespoons of olive oil to a pan, 2-3 cloves of garlic, sliced paper thin, and when fragrant, not browned, add some 5-6 cups of chopped and somewhat de-seeded fresh tomatoes over high heat. Salt generously and reduce until a saucy consistency. Meanwhile, boil up some cappelini or angel hair pasta, and when done, add this to the tomato sauce with a bit of pasta water, perhaps a cup or less of cubed mozzarella cheese and toss to mix. Add a handful of wild arugula leaves (or basil if you had it) and toss once more… serve immediately.

If you need more flavor, add another layer with some grated parmesan cheese. Season with freshly ground pepper and its all good to go! A nice fresh and healthy pasta with a small side serving of fried artichokes…


22 Responses

  1. I haven’t tried artichoke. With your post I feel like I’m missing out on something by not being more adventurous with food. What does it taste like MM?

    BTW that pasta dish looks so fresh and light! :)

  2. haven’t tried artichokes either … soon! will love to try the pasta you posted …

  3. I prefer throwing the whole head in a pressure cooker for about 15 minutes and bite scraping off the tender parts of the outer leaves with a good dressing. It takes a while till you get to the core, where can finally enjoy the best part of the artichoke. It certainly teaches one patience…

  4. interesting, i always looked at the artichoke at the commissary and wonder how do you cook and eat the thing! :-)

  5. looking at the pasta, makes me sigh… thinking of eating again. the lovely photos makes me hungry all over again. :), thanks for the post MM

  6. I’ve never tasted fried Artichokes but it does look yummy! And your pasta..looks divine!!!…Nice twist with the use of arugula instead of the usual basil. Love this post!

  7. That is a beautiful plate of pasta. I think I’ll steal this recipe for my lunch tomorrow. :)

  8. aaahhh…..that’s a good looking artichoke. If only I can be very fortunate of finding them as fresh as you photographed them, I would have them right now even if they require so much work. And the fresh tomato sauce….aaahhh, comfort food on cold days like this. Looks like I’ll have them on Friday!!! Thanks MM!

  9. Where I was based in Spain…. Valencia blessed with sun there are artichoke plantations everywhere… (yes I am missing Spain now). The crew just them boiled and dip on vinaigrette.

  10. I’ve had artichokes steamed but, not fried…will soon try it. You got me curious. Now I have to try your recipe by frying them.

  11. Last time I went to the US I really nagged my cousin that we should buy and try to cook artichokes because I’ve never tasted them fresh… only the canned ones.We had to searched the internet and she had to call her friend so we would know how to cook it properly.I was amused that it was like eating cabbage cactus, peeling the petals and then gritting with your teeth the small tender parts of each petal! LOL! Now I know better… only the heart! ;)

  12. I have had bottled artichokes and as tapenade (I loved it). I’ve also had it simply steamed then dipped in butter with lemon zest (using teeth to scrape the insides of the petals) but never deep fried. Yum!

  13. I love artichoke hearts, but have never had fresh artichokes, much less deep-fried. The deep-frying and resulting crispiness and caramelization must add a different layer altogether!

  14. My favorite artichoke recipe is the artichoke-spinach dip. Chunky pieaces of artichoke with spinach, sour cream, cream cheese and grated parmesan mixed together and baked in 300 degrees for 30 minutes.

  15. For me, artichoke is best when baked and paired with grilled meat (lamb or beef)…

  16. hey mm– random post (unrelated to this topic–tho i have to say i heart artichokes). tried zubuchon in cebu last month and loved the monggo with lechon :)

  17. Do they even have artichoke in the Philippines? Deep Fried Artichoke, I’m iffy about this one. Marketman, I would love try your lechon though. I will visit your place when we decide to visit the Philipipines.



Subscribe To Updates

No spam, only notifications about new blog posts.