Stuffed Artichokes Sicilian Style
("Carciofi Farciti alla Siciliana" - "Cacocciuli Chini")
For the holidays and for special dinners we always looked forward for the stuffed artichokes as a side dish or for
the conclusion of an extraordinary meal. The ingredients for the stuffing are indigenous food and condiments. The
breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic, pine nuts, almonds, black olives, anchovies and olive oil combine into an outburst of
flavors to compliment the sweetness and taste of the artichokes.
Artichokes trimmed for stuffing
of chopped parsley
chopped garlic cloves
black olives, pitted and diced finely
salted anchovies, (optional) rinsed, filleted and chopped
little salt and pepper to taste
When preparing artichokes for cooking, wear utility gloves so you can avoid staining your hands. Prepare a basin
with water, acidulated with the juice of a lemon, to soak the artichokes after they are trimmed, to prevent
Wash the artichokes to remove sand, small stone or any foreign object.
Remove stem and discard hard outer leaves, the first 2 or 3 rows, until the artichoke’s leaves became light in
color and usually tender. Trim base cutting enough of it so that the artichoke can stand up in the cooking pot. Cut
off one-third of the petals eliminating the pointy top.
Preparation of the
In a medium size skillet, over a medium heat, toast the almonds using a tablespoon of oil, and when the skin starts
to pop, set on the side.
In the same skillet, lightly toast the pine nuts for 2 minutes and set on the side.
Using the same skillet, lightly toast the breadcrumbs and place them in a large bowl.
After cooling chop the toasted almonds and combine with garlic, cheese, parsley, pine nuts, olives, anchovies and
If using the optional anchovies do not add salt, taste filling and add salt if needed.
Combine all ingredients except the lemon and add pepper to taste. Mix it well and combine with it half of the olive
Bang the trimmed artichokes on the counter or cutting board to loosen the leaves, press them upside down and spread
the petals apart so they can be stuffed.
Hold each artichoke over the top of the bowl containing the stuffing, sprinkle between the petals, pressing inside
the artichoke. Distribute equally any remaining filling to form a cover on top to crown each artichoke.
Place the stuffed artichokes in a pot, close together; fill any empty space with a cup filled with water and/or use
aluminum foil as filler. Cover artichokes half way with cold water and to prevent discoloration, add the lemon
after squeezing a few drops of juice to the pot; also add a teaspoon of salt and pour the remaining olive oil on
top of each artichoke.
Bring pot to a boil and simmer for 30/45 minutes. Check often and if needed add some water. Check if salt is needed
Artichokes are done when pulling a leaf, it comes off easily.
Spoon the top of each artichoke with some of the cooking liquid remaining in the pot. Serve hot or at room
If you want to give an extra zest, sauté a few cloves of sliced garlic and some parsley in three tablespoon of
olive oil, drizzle over the artichokes before serving.