Artichoke Stew with Shiitakes: Zuppa Di Carcofi
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
- 12 cloves garlic, thinly sliced, plus 1 clove, cut in 1/2
- 1/2 cup sweet vermouth (recommended: Cinzano Rosso)
- 8 small artichokes, cut in 1/4s
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- Dried red chile, chopped
- 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, hard part of foot removed, cut in to 1/2s
- 1 1/2 cups basic tomato sauce, recipe follows
- 4 cups water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 baguette
- Hee Hee garnish, recipe follows
- Basic tomato sauce:
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Spanish onion, 1/4-inch dice
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried
- 1/2 medium carrot, finely grated
- 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved
- Hee Hee Garnish:
- 2 artichokes
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Pinch red chili flakes
- Pinch sea salt
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
In a heavy bottomed 6-quart pan, heat the olive oil until just smoking.
Add 12 whole garlic cloves and saute about 4 minutes until caramelized. Be careful not to burn. Deglaze pan with sweet vermouth. Trim artichokes by cutting off the top with a serrated bread knife. Trim down to the choke, cut unto 1/4 pieces and let sit in water and lemon juice so as not to discolor. Toss into the pan with the garlic, add remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil chopped dried chili and shiitake mushrooms. Add tomato sauce and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and season with 1 tablespoon salt.
Meanwhile slice the bread, toast on a grill and rub with the remaining cut garlic clove.
Spoon Hee Hee garnish over the toasted bread and serve with the stew.Basic tomato sauce:
In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt and serve. This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.
Yield: 4 cupsHee Hee Garnish:
Clean and trim artichokes. Cut into paper thin slices and add to a bowl with lemon juice Add the extra-virgin olive oil, chili flakes and sea salt.