Pecorino-stuffed artichokes with guanciale and black truffle

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Artichokes are a favoured ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine, prized for their delicate flavour and succulent flesh. In this recipe, Francesco Sposito infuses artichokes with the nutty notes of roasted walnuts before stuffing them with a rich Parmesan and pecorino cheese filling. Topped with guanciale (a type of cured pork) and shavings of black truffle, this dish is the epitomy of decadence.

First published in 2016





Artichoke cream

Artichoke filling

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 93g of milk
  • 93g of double cream
  • 47g of Parmesan, grated
  • 47g of pecorino, grated
  • 37g of parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced

To serve

  • 8 slices of guanciale, measuring 6x6cm
  • 100g of black truffle
  • 20g of chervil leaves
  • salt
  • pepper


  • Water bath
  • Vacuum bags 2
  • Chamber sealer
  • Thermometer
  • Blender


Preheat a water bath to 85°C and place a large pan of water on to the boil
Take the 8 whole artichokes and peel the stems with a vegetable peeler, before trimming to about 5cm in length. Break off the tough outer leaves leaving the inner yellow leaves of the bulb in tact
Cut across the top of the bulb and scoop out the choke (the hairy centre) with a spoon. Discard the outer leaves and the choke, resulting in 8 trimmed, hollow artichokes
Immediately blanch the artichokes in the pan of boiling water, adding in the lemon juice to prevent any oxidisation and discolouration
After 3 minutes, drain the artichokes and place in a bowl of iced water to cool quickly. Once cool, place 4 in each vacuum bag, drizzle with the olive oil, seal and cook in the water bath for 2 hours
  • 200g of extra virgin olive oil
After this time, remove from the water and leave the artichokes to cool in the bags. Once cool, remove and gently blot away any excess oil
To smoke the artichokes, line a large baking tray with foil and cover with the whole walnuts. Place the tray over a medium heat on the hob to toast the walnuts
  • 1kg whole walnuts
When the walnuts begin to smoke, place the artichokes on top and wrap the entire tray in foil, ensuring there are no gaps for the smoke to escape. Place back on the heat and leave to smoke for 1 hour and 30 minutes
Meanwhile, make the artichoke cream. Prepare and blanch the 250g of artichokes in the lemon water as before. Drain and leave to cool before slicing into small pieces
Place a pan over a medium heat and sauté the garlic in a little olive oil for a couple of minutes, then remove, add in the anchovy fillets and stir in the potatoes to soften
Stir in the artichoke pieces and continue to cook for 3–4 minutes. Cover with the vegetable stock and simmer for 15–20 minutes until both the potatoes and artichokes are tender
  • 250ml of vegetable stock
Once cooked, transfer to a blender and blitz the contents of the pan together to make a purée. Pass through a fine sieve to ensure it is completely smooth then reserve until ready to serve
For the artichoke filling, lightly whisk together the egg yolks in a large bowl. Place the cream and milk in a small pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Once at a boil remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly
Whisk a third of the warm cream into the egg yolks to combine, then pour this mixture back into the pan with the remaining cream and whisk together. Stir in the grated Parmesan and pecorino
  • 47g of Parmesan, grated
  • 47g of pecorino, grated
Pour the cheese and cream mixture into a bowl and set over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure that the bowl does not touch the water. Bring the filling up to 80°C, stirring occasionally
Meanwhile, blanch the parsley leaves in a small pan of boiling water for 2 minutes and cool immediately in iced water. Drain and squeeze any excess water from the parsley and stir into the hot cheese filling with the garlic
  • 37g of parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced
Pass the parsley cheese filling through a fine sieve, transfer to a blender and blend slowly, or in pulses, to allow the filling to cool. Transfer the green filling to a piping bag and chill in the fridge until ready to serve
Just before serving, cut the stems from the smoked artichokes so there are 8 bulbs and 8 stems. Season with salt and pepper and pipe the creamy filling into the central cavity of the bulbs – reserving some of the filling for garnish
  • salt
  • pepper
Preheat a grill to high. Place both the stems and filled bulbs under the hot grill to warm through then divide between serving plates
Top the bulbs with slices of guanciale and truffle, and pipe on any remaining filling. Add spoonfuls of the artichoke cream and garnish with sprigs of chervil
  • 8 slices of guanciale, measuring 6x6cm
  • 100g of black truffle
  • 20g of chervil leaves

Francesco Sposito became Italy’s youngest two-star chef at the age of thirty-one, cooking his unique reinterpretation of Naples cuisine, with modernist international flair.

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