To start, trim the artichoke stems to fit nicely inside of a stockpot or Dutch oven with the lid on. Note that the artichokes should be snug to prevent from tipping over while cooking. Use scissors to trim the sharp tips of the leaves. Use a serrated knife to cut off the top inch of each artichoke, then use the tip of a knife to cut out the hairy choke in the center of each. You may need a spoon to help scoop it out.
Zest the lemons into a medium mixing bowl and set aside. Remove the ends of the lemon and cut in half across the equator. Push the stem of each artichoke into a lemon half to create a wider base for the artichokes once inside the pot.
To the mixing bowl with the zest, add the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley and some salt and pepper and stir to combine. Using a small spoon, pour the breadcrumb mixture into the core of one of the artichokes until it meets the top leaves. Next, sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture around the outside layers, making sure to fill in between all of the leaves. Gently tap the artichoke stem against the counter to ensure the breadcrumbs are settled into place. Repeat with the rest of the artichokes and the remaining breadcrumb mixture.
Carefully place the stuffed artichokes (and lemon bases) into the stockpot. Pour the vegetable stock into the pot, making sure not to get the tops of the artichokes wet. The cooking liquid should not be high enough to touch the stuffing. Place the whole garlic cloves into the pot and turn the heat to medium high. Once the cooking liquid begins to simmer, place the lid on the pot and cook until the artichokes are tender and a leaf is easy to remove, 35 to 40 minutes.
Using tongs, remove the artichokes from the pot. Discard the lemon bases, garlic cloves, and cooking liquid. Serve the artichokes immediately with marinara sauce for dipping, if desired.
Place a saucepot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Pour in the red wine and cook for 1 minute to reduce. Using your hands or a potato masher, crush the tomatoes and add to the saucepot, including any juices from the can. Stir to combine. Add the basil sprig. Bring the sauce to a simmer and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook until the sauce is thickened slightly, about 15 minutes.
Before stuffing, soak the cleaned artichokes in a bowl of lemon ice water to prevent browning.
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