Fresh Baby Artichokes

Agata says:

This quintessential Spring dish is served in Sicily as a “minestra”, which means a thick soup. Though not technically a soup at all, there is quite a bit of broth at the bottom of the skillet when the dish is done. In my hometown, my family would add small chunks of toasted peasant bread to the mix and eat it with a spoon.
The preparation is adaptable, however. If you prefer to serve it as a side for roast lamb, ham or veal, you can simply increase the heat during the last minute or two of cooking to evaporate the juices. You can also leave all the juice intact and pour it as a sauce over cooked pasta or Basmati rice.
What stays the same in all adaptations is the “green” flavor of Spring in every bite.

Agata’s Baby Artichokes and Peas


1 ½ lbs. fresh peas in pod
3 3 lbs. baby artichokes
¼ cup Agata & Valentina extra virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 scallions, chopped
2 cups A & V homemade chicken stock
2 tbs. chopped Italian parsley
sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste


1. Shell peas and put in bowl. There should be about 1 cup.
2. Trim top from each artichoke and cut off stem. Peel each down to its tenderest leaves.
Quarter and drop into a bowl of water acidulated with lemon juice or a splash of vinegar.
3. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium/high heat for 2 minutes. Add onions and scallions together and saute for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add artichokes and cook, stirring, for a minute. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Continue cooking about 6-8 minutes more, until artichokes begin to color, and then add peas. Season again lightly with another pinch of salt and pepper and cook 2 minutes more, still stirring.
4. Pour in chicken stock and let come to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium and continue cooking 10-12 minutes more, stirring occasionally. (Peas and artichoke pieces should be fully cooked through and quite tender). Taste and add a little more salt and pepper if necessary. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Yields 4 side dishes or enough sauce to dress 1 pound of pasta (which feeds 4)