Cook the Book: Artichokes alla Contadino

Cook the Book: Artichokes alla Contadino

According to Urban Italian, contadino means "farmer" or "peasant." That doesn't mean this dish is limited to picnics and simple dinners. With plenty of fresh herbs, white wine, and tomatoes, there's definitely enough pizazz in this dish for the upper crust. Viva la rivoluzione!

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  • Yield:4 to 6


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pancetta, cut into large chunks
  • 1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 6 artichokes, cleaned, halved, and with chokes removed (directions below)
  • 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 whole tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup pitted Taggiasca olives
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • To Clean the Artichokes
  • Cut off the bottom of each stem, leaving about half the stem intact. Pull off the tough outer leaves, revealing the closely packed, tender leaves in the center; they will be tight around the bud, and should be a soft pale-green springtime color. Use a sma


  1. 1.

    Heat the olive oil in a large saucepot over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and onion and cook together 2 minutes, until some of the pancetta fat is rendered and the onion starts to soften.

  2. 2.

    Add the artichokes and season the mixture with the salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes, until the artichokes are lightly sauteed.

  3. 3.

    Add the garlic, tomatoes, and wine and cook for 2 minutes, until the alcohol evaporates.

  4. 4.

  5. 5.

    Add the olives, basil, rosemary, thyme, and parsley, and mix everything together well.

  6. 6.

    Remove the mixture to a serving dish and top with panko breadcrumbs. Serve immediately.