My Mom used to make these just for me. She knew how much I loved them. Most use just seasoned breadcrumbs, we added a touch of tomato. The taste is much better that way and not so dry. There was never a need for me to make them since she would make a dozen or so and send some over to me piping hot. Now that she passed, I figured it was time for me to give it a try. I dedicate this post to you Mom.
This recipe is for 4 artichokes.
1/2 medium onion minced
about 6 oz tomato sauce
1.5 cups plain bread crumbs
1 cup grated imported Pecorino Romano cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Fry onion in some olive oil and stir in the tomato sauce adding some salt and pepper. Cook until onion is tender. Add the tomato/onion to the seasoned breadcrumbs. Salt and pepper to taste. Taste the mixture, it should be tasty not bland. If so, add more cheese, it never hurts. It will be dry but will stick together if you squeeze it between your fingers. Set aside.
Trim some of the bottom leaves of the artichoke and cut stem so that the artichoke will stand up. Cut the tops off with a sharp knife, being sure not to go too low. With a small spoon, pull out the center leaving a hole in the middle. Under running water, spread leaves apart with your thumbs as much as you can to open them up.
Now you need to stuff each pedal with the mixture, spreading them apart with a spoon or your thumbs. Then sprinkle the tops with a little olive oil and place in your steamer. Steam until tender. You’ll be able to poke them with a fork or pull out a leaf.