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Artichoke Risotto with Thyme and Artusi’s Fried Artichokes

A delicious artichoke risotto perfectly matches with a 1891 recipe for fried artichokes.

Ingredients

Scale
  • 160 g Arborio rice
  • 6 artichokes
  • 600 ml vegetable stock
  • Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 shallot, peeled and sliced
  • Chili pepper flakes to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sprig of fresh thyme
  • Knob of butter
  • Parmigiano Reggiano

For the fried artichokes

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Flour
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. Clean the artichokes, removing stems, sharp ends and all hard leaves. Cut 4 artichokes into wedges. Slice the remaining 2 artichokes for frying according to Artusi’s directions.
  2. Soak all the artichokes in water with the lemon juice to prevent them from browning.
  3. In a large saucepan heat oil and gently fry shallot, garlic and chili pepper flakes for about 1-2 minutes. Remove garlic.
  4. Toss the 4 artichokes cut into wedges into the saucepan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Now add the uncooked rice and let it sauté for about 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly and swiftly with a wooden spoon (the rice grains should all be covered with oil but must not turn brown).
  5. Pour a ladle of hot stock over the rice and let it simmer, stirring constantly to prevent rice from scorching (note that the stock must be hot because otherwise the cooking process is stopped). When the liquid is all absorbed, pour another ladle of stock, stirring all the time, and let it cook till it’s absorbed again; repeat until you have no more stock left and the rice is completely cooked (it will take about 20 minutes). This method of adding a ladleful of stock at a time allows rice starch to be released thus giving risotto a very creamy texture. The risotto is ready when it’s al dente, that is grains are tender but rather firm, though not hard (if for any reason the rice is not done yet, add some hot water as you did with the stock and keep cooking).
  6. Halfway through cooking remember to stir in the fresh thyme.
  7. In the meantime, fry the remaining 2 artichokes following Artusi’s method, as explained above.
  8. When the risotto is done, remove it from heat. Stir in parmesan and butter. If the vegetable stock is already salted, adding more salt is probably unnecessary. In any case, wait until parmesan is stirred in before adjusting the seasoning, because it is a rather tasty cheese itself.
  9. Serve the artichoke risotto in a plate and decorate with the fried artichokes on top.
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