PETTI di AGNELLO RIPIENO con CUORE di CARCIOFI

(Lamb Breast Stuffed with Hearts of Artichokes)

Ingredients

Note: This dish is much easier to make using frozen artichokes.  There is no loss of flavor.
1 Lg. Lamb breast
4 Cloves Garlic  chopped
4 Small Shallots Sliced very thin
15 Small Artichokes - cleaned - hearts only (Frozen Artichoke hearts are fine)
2 Tbl. Pine nuts
1 Lg. Egg
1 Med. Tomato - seeded and chopped into small pieces
1/2 Cup Parsley - fresh and chopped
1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs
1/4 Cup Olive Oil  Extra Virgin
8 Slices Salami or Prosciutto (If using prosciutto 6 slices are enough)
Q. B.   Salt and Pepper

Preparation of the Lamb Breasts

Cut a pocket in the lamb breast.  (A butcher can do this if this is a new operation for you).  After the pocket is cut, divide the lamb breast into two pieces if two meals are desired, or leave the breast intact if one meal is planned.  Set the breast(s) aside for the moment.

Preparation of the Stuffing

If using fresh artichokes clean them as described below.

Choose artichokes with a 2-3 inch stem if possible. (Add the juice of a lemon to a small bowl of water.  This will be where the artichokes will go until all are cleaned.) Remove all of the tough outer leaves, and cut the artichoke in half lengthwise. in half.  Cut off about 1/2 of an inch from the tip of the artichoke. (The objective is to remove the tough inedible parts.)   Make a small indentation for the stuffing by cutting a small pocket where the choke is located. In many small artichokes, there is no actual choke developed, so nothing need to be done to these.  Cook the artichokes by gently boiling them in acidulated water until they are tender - about 30 minutes. 

If using frozen artichokes, thaw them in the microwave for 3-4 minutes as detailed on the package.  These are now ready for use.

In either case, chop the artichokes into small pieces. 

Put the garlic, shallots, artichokes and pine nuts, egg, tomato and parsley into a mixing bowl, and mix thoroughly. Add 1/4 cup of water to which 2 tablespoons of olive oil has been added. Allow to stand for 5 minutes to allow the bread crumbs to soak up the water and the oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Stuffing the Breasts

Cut 24 pieces of kitchen string in lengths that will tie the stuffed breast easily. Line the sides of the breast with salami or prosciutto -  these meats are also great for patching any place where the breast may have been pierced. Spoon stuffing into the lined breast pushing it into all the crevices with your fingers. When finished with the stuffing operation, place a few pieces of salami or a piece of prosciutto over the opening so that it covers the opening. Tie the breasts in 10-12 places (two pieces of breast), or as many as 20 places if making one large breast with the string so that the opening is closed. [This is a messy operation, but it pays off later!]

Baking the Breasts

Roll the breast(s) up in aluminum foil large enough to make a large sausage shaped object. Put the wrapped breast(s) into a baking pan, and bake at 400 F. for 30 minutes.  Turn the oven down to 275 F. and continue baking for 2- 2 1/2 hours.  Remove from the oven, allow to cool a bit and unwrap.  Serve immediately with pan fried potatoes, and a mixed green salad. 


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Last Updated on:  12/25/04 08:54:34 PM