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Ciaudedda Lucania – stewed artichokes with pancetta and broad beans

Ciaudedda – Stewed artichokes with pancetta and broad beans

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This summery artichoke recipe is an traditional dish from Lucania the ancient area of South Italy mostly known today as Basilicata. It can be eaten hot as a broth, or strain off a little of the stock and chill down for a refreshing salad. Rich lard and smoky pancetta really complement the earthy, sometimes bitter flavours of artichokes and broad beans making it a really moreish plate of food!

Ingredients

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Method

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1
Begin by preparing the artichokes. Fill a large bowl with water, squeeze the juice of 1 of the lemons into it and add the lemon halves too – it's important that you place your prepared artichokes straight into this acidulated water to prevent discolouration
2
Peel off the outer leaves of the artichokes until you get to the softer leaves in the centre. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the stalk and the outside of the base to reveal the softer flesh. Trim the stalks down if they are particularly long as they can be a little stringy – around 4cm is good. Rub with the lemon halves as you work to prevent discolouration
3
Slice off the leaves from about halfway up, scrape out the hairy choke in the centre using a teaspoon and discard. Place the prepared artichokes in the acidulated water whilst you prepare the other 2
4
Heat the lard in a large saucepan and add the pancetta. Once it starts releasing its fat, add the onion petals and sweat down until the pancetta is starting to crisp up and the onions are soft
5
Place the artichokes and potatoes in the pan and cover with hot vegetable stock. Simmer for around 20–25 minutes. Pierce the potatoes and artichokes with a small knife to check they are cooked
6
If you’re using frozen broad beans, defrost them in a bowl of water for a few minutes. Add the broad beans to the pan and simmer for a further 5 minutes to warm through
7
Taste and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Garnish with chopped parsley, lemon zest and a generous drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil
8
Serve hot as a broth with a hunk of bread, or if you fancy something lighter, drain off some of the broth and cool the vegetables down for a fresh spring salad
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