Like many other Italian foods & ingredients, I enjoyed my first taste of a cooked globe artichoke at my Pops’ Italian deli in my teens. Before then, I would refuse to eat anything that looked odd, especially a beige furry flower thing!! One of my favourite ways to eat artichokes back in the day, was to make myself bite size sandwiches (made from the ends of the fresh Italian bread delivered to the deli) filled with slices of pecorino sardo cheese and artichoke halves drizzled in olive oil & chilli flakes. Wooooaaahhhweeeee!! I remember thinking ‘How could anything so simple be so delicious’?! as olive oil dripped from my chin.
In tribute, I decided to research and cook a few winter warmer dishes, all including artichokes as one of the main ingredients.
Here I present to you – Artichoke Tart, a dish found in many forms in Southern Italy including Sicily. Here is The Tiny Italian version, it’s delicious, easy to cook and worked a treat on a cold Sunday night!
Ingredients (4 people)
1 Garlic clove, finely chopped
Handful of chopped Parsley
5 Artichokes (in brine) finely sliced
35g Plain flour
Salt & Pepper
Pinch of grated nutmeg
75g Pancetta, cubed
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp Parmesan, grated
500g short crust pastry
- Take the short crust pastry out the fridge at least 45 mins before use. This makes it easier to roll out later.
- Fry the garlic & parsley in a drizzle of olive oil for a few minutes until the garlic is slightly browned.
- Add the sliced artichoke to the pan and mix with the garlic & parsley. Cook for another 2-3 mins on a medium heat.
- Take the artichoke mixture off the heat.
- Next, start the béchamel sauce by making a roux. In a pan, mix the melted butter and flour together. Then add the milk, constantly whisking, until they are no flour lumps. Keep stirring for a good 10 mins. The sauce will eventually thicken. When you’re happy with the consistency, season with salt & pepper & nutmeg.
- Add the béchamel sauce, pancetta, beaten egg & Parmesan to the artichoke mix. Mix the ingredients well together. Your filling is now ready!
- Flour your work space and roll out the short crust pastry nice and thin with a rolling pin. Ensure you roll it out large enough to fit your buttered pie tin. Make sure the pastry is fitted in nice & snug in the tin and up the sides.
- Then pour the mixture into the tin. Make sure the mixture covers the whole surface of the bottom of the tin.
- Cook the tart in a preheated oven at 200c for 30-40 mins. Make sure the top is nice & brown.
- After you take the tart out the oven, let it rest & cool down. Best served cold or lukewarm