Artichokes with Sausage and Tomato
- 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus some chopped for garnish
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
- 2 lemons, halved
- 2 quarts water
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 whole artichokes
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 pound chicken sausages
- 3 vine-ripened tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
First thing to do is steam the artichokes in a flavorful broth. Put the parsley, garlic, bay leaves, wine, and 1 of the halved lemons in a wide pot, add 2 quarts of water, and bring to a simmer. Season the broth with salt and pepper. In the meantime prepare the artichokes.
Wash the artichokes under cold water. Using a paring knife, trim the bottom end of the stem and shave the stem down to expose the tender, inner part of the artichoke. Snap or cut off the outer petals until you reach the pale green, soft leaves in the center. Cut 1-inch off the top of the artichoke. Repeat with the remaining artichokes.
Place the artichokes in the steaming liquid. Cover and simmer on medium-low for about 20 minutes, or until there is no resistance when a knife is inserted into the base. Remove the artichokes from the poaching liquid with tongs. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out the hairy choke from the center and discard. Try and keep the artichoke intact as best you can, it looks great for presentation.
Place a large deep skillet over medium heat and coat with 2 tablespoons of the oil. When the oil is hot, add the sausage and cook for 5 minutes to render out the fat and brown the sausage slightly; they should not be fully cooked through. Take the sausage out of the pan and slice it up. Cut the tomatoes in half and then squeeze them into a bowl to hand crush; drizzle with a couple of tablespoons of oil and a pinch of salt. Toss the sausage slices back into the pan and pour in the tomatoes, along with any juice that has accumulated in the bowl. Cook for 3 minutes until the tomatoes start to break down and soften. Now it's time for the artichokes to go in there. Nestle these little beauties into the sausage and tomato mixture; season with salt and pepper. Add the butter and let it melt, give a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten the flavor, and serve.