About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

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Braised Artichokes with Peas


Today is the first recipe in the Vegetable chapter of Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. I think you'll really like this chapter, and there are many recipes for cooking vegetables in ways you've probably never cooked them.

Today, my recipe is Braised Artichokes with Peas. This was a very simple and delicious recipe. Simple, as long as you don't mind dealing with a fresh artichoke. One of the really helpful aspects of this cookbook is that Marcella goes into great detail about how to work with the basic ingredients. In this case, how to clean and prepare an artichoke. In this recipe, after you've done that, you place chopped onion and olive oil in a pan and cook until the onion is lightly golden. You then add garlic, and again cook until lightly golden. You then add the artichoke that's been cut in wedges and some water, cover the pot, and simmer until the artichokes are tender. At this point, you add the peas (I had to use frozen as there was no fresh available), and cook about 5 mintues. Finish with salt and pepper.

Comments (2)

You're right, Cindy. I've been looking forward to this chapter for some fresh inspiration, too.

Marcella Hazan:

A pity that you are getting to vegetables in dead of winter, although the seasons in the market are not as distinct as they once used to be. The artichokes in the photo, and the ones I used when I originally wrote that recipe, appear to be the large globes. They are quite okay for braising, but what I am using now, especially when I need to brown them, are the small artichokes that fortunately keep appearing in the market. They cook faster, they are more tender, and sweeter.

Deborah responds:
Marcella, when we started the process, we gave ourselves permission to cook ahead on the vegetables so we could take advantage of their peak seasons. So many of the entries you will be seeing in this chapter have already been written and are just waiting for their appropriate day to post.

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