Prep time: 30 minutes.
Cooking time: 2/1/2 to 3 hours.
4 medium-large artichokes
2 cups of breadcrumbs (homemade, if possible)
2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
½ t of sea salt
½ t freshly ground black pepper
½ t hot pepper flakes (optional)
2 Tbs of grated Romano cheese
1 Tbs of fresh, finely chopped garlic (optional)
1 Tbs of freshly finely chopped shallots (optional)
¼ cup +/- of extra virgin olive oil (unsalted butter, melted, can be used as a substitute)
Wash artichokes well. Cut off the stems so artichokes will sit flat in your pan. Also, cut off the top so that they are flat on top. Snip off the pointed tips of each leaf. Turn them upside down on a solid surface and apply pressure to the bottom. This will spread the leaves, making them easier to stuff. Place them in a bowl to stuff.
In a large bowl combine all the dry stuffing ingredients and mix well. Add the oil slowly to the mixture. It should be moistened enough so it will stick together between your fingers. You may need to adjust the amount of oil depending on the mixture of ingredients used.
Stuff each leaf of the artichoke, starting with the bottom large leaves and working your way around, to the top with crumb mixture. Stuff desired amount of leaves and press some on to the flat top of the artichoke. Then wipe off any excess stuffing on the outside of the leaves.
Place artichokes in a large sauce pan and fill bottom of pan with water about ½ way up the artichoke. Drizzle olive oil over the top of stuffed artichokes, sprinkle salt and grind a little pepper over them, and cover tightly. Bring to a slow boil and then simmer for 2 ½ to 3 hours, depending on the size of the artichokes.
Remove from the pot when done, let them rest for 10 minutes, and serve.