This dish is typically made with raw artichokes that get simmered together in a kind of stew. I decided to steam the artichokes first because I wanted to be able to eat the leaves as an appetizer. You can alternately trim raw artichokes down to the hearts saving the peels to simmer for a broth, slicing and simmering the hearts along with the guanciale, onions, garlic and water. A third option is to use jarred artichokes (unseasoned in water). Cut the hearts from the leaves, simmer the leaves in water, blend and strain using the liquid to simmer guanciale and add the sliced hearts to the guanciale mixture with favas. —savorthis
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: savorthis hails from Denver, Colorado and counts front end web design, marketing, and of course, cooking among her talents.
WHAT: An artichoke stew that's the essence of spring -- and that yields an easy appetizer in the course of cooking.
HOW: Favas and artichokes take a dip in the same onion-spiked broth, which is later used to fortify the stew itself. After steaming, the artichoke leaves become a snack while you chop up the hearts!
WHY WE LOVE IT: "Stew" sounds wintery. This one is anything but, with just a touch of guanciale to add meatiness to the spring vegetables. —The Editors
1 1/2 cups
fava beans (about 1.5 lb unshelled)
onion, half quartered, half diced, divided use
large artichokes, stems trimmed
tablespoons olive oil
guanciale (pancetta or bacon can work too), thinly sliced
Put 4 cups water in a big pot and bring to a boil. Have a bowl of ice water ready. Remove favas from pods, rinse well and add to water for about a minute. Remove with slotted spoon/strainer to ice water. Put quartered half onion and bay leaf in pot. If you have a steamer basket that fits in pot place it on top of onions. Otherwise, put artichokes directly on onions. Cover and steam until leaves are easy to remove. about 45-55 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix all aioli ingredients well. It is better once it has been sitting a while.
Once favas are cool, remove outer skins and set aside.
Remove artichokes and let cool, reserving 2 cups of liquid (top off with water if you don't have enough). Strain and season to taste with salt. Peel the dark green artichoke leaves arranging them on a plate with aioli to snack on while you assemble the rest of dinner.
With a paring knife, remove pale inner leaves and choke and cut hearts into slices or wedges.
Add 4 tablespoons oil to dutch oven or medium pot and cook guanciale (or pancetta) until just starting to brown and remove to a bowl. If using bacon, omit oil and cook in dry pot until almost brown and pour off all but 4 tablespoons fat. Cook diced onions in fat over medium heat until just starting to brown. Add garlic for a couple minutes. Return guanciale to pot and add reserved artichoke broth and simmer about 10 minutes. Add artichokes, favas and peas and simmer another 5 minutes. Adjust for salt and dish into bowls. Top with black pepper, parsley and a drizzle of high quality olive oil.
If you choose, you can serve a poached or fried egg on top with crusty bread on the side. We ate it as a side dish to grilled rib eye, which was wonderful with the aioil.