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Artichoke and Prosciutto Lasagna (and How to Prepare Artichokes)

Artichokes, artichokes, artichokes

No, Sicily is not out of my head yet. Do you remember the gorgeous, fresh artichokes I saw at the market? Seeing mountains of these gorgeous buds on display every day made me long to find a Sicily-inspired, artichoke-based dish to make once I got back home. I found this recipe for Artichoke and Prosciutto Lasagna in the Italian Cucina Moderna magazine I bought at a newspaper kiosk in Catania. It sounded just perfect, with the creamy sauce nesting the sautéed artichokes and the prosciutto adding a salty bite to an otherwise-delicate dish. I translated the recipe and although I’m sure it would have been even better with fresh, Sicilian artichokes, the ones I found at my local produce grocer were very tasty and I loved the dish just as much as I had expected I would.

Artichoke and Prosciutto Lasagna

Have you ever prepared artichokes? It may sound intimidating, but it’s actually quite easy {see the detailed how to below!}. A little work will reward you with a much better taste than frozen artichokes (let’s not even mention the canned variety!). If the only artichokes you’ve had are the pickled ones, I challenge you to try this great spring dish, which enhances the vegetable’s elegant flavor to perfection.

Artichoke and Prosciutto Lasagna

Artichoke and Prosciutto Lasagna

Translated and adapted from Cucina Magazine, original recipe by Livia Sala.

Serves 4

For the béchamel (white sauce):
3 tbsp [45 ml] flour
2 cups [500 ml] milk, warm
¼ cup [60 ml] butter
Nutmeg

For the artichokes:
6 artichokes
2 tbsp [30 ml] extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp [30 ml] flat-leaf parsley, minced

For the lasagna:
Fresh lasagna pasta, or quick-cooking lasagna pasta
9 slices prosciutto (about 4.4 oz [125 g])
2 oz [57 g] freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 tbsp [15 ml] butter

Make the béchamel : Melt ¼ cup [60 ml] butter in a saucepan. Add the flour, whisking to incorporate it to the butter. Cook for about 1 minute, still whisking. Slowly add the warm milk, gradually, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper and a grating of nutmeg, then simmer over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring once in a while, until the sauce has thickened. Remove from the heat, cover and reserve.

For the artichokes: Clean and prepare the artichokes according to the method detailed below. Cut each prepared artichoke in half, then each half in fourths so you end up with 8 slices per artichoke.

Cut each prepared artichoke in half, then each half in fourths so you end up with 8 slices per artichoke.

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet, then add the artichokes and the minced garlic. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and sauté the artichokes for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat, or until tender and golden-brown in spots. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped parsley. Reserve.

sauté the artichokes for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat, or until tender and golden-brown in spots. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped parsley

Note: The artichokes can be enjoyed as is, as part of a salad or as a side dish.

Assemble the lasagna: Preheat the oven to 400°F [200°C]. Grease a 9-inch square baking dish. Pour a ladleful of béchamel sauce in the bottom of the dish and spread to cover the whole surface. Cover with lasagna pasta. Pour another ladleful of béchamel sauce over the pasta, dot with a fourth of the artichokes, then sprinkle a fourth of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Cover with 3 slices of prosciutto, then with more lasagna pasta. Repeat the sauce-artichoke-cheese-prosciutto layer twice. To finish the lasagna, pour all the remaining sauce over the last layer of pasta, then add the remaining artichokes and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Distribute 1 tbsp butter over the surface.

Assembled Artichoke and Prosciutto Lasagna, before baking.

Bake the lasagna for 25 minutes, or until it is heated through, the pasta is al dente, and the top is golden.

Let rest the lasagna for 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve with a green salad.

Artichoke and Prosciutto Lasagna

Download this recipe in PDF format - Food Nouveau

How to Prepare Artichokes

How to Prepare Artichokes

1. Cut the stem off the artichoke.

1. Cut the stem off the artichoke.

2. Peel the leaves off one by one, until you reach the yellow inner leaves.

2. Peel the leaves off one by one, until you reach the yellow inner leaves.

3. Cut the top of the artichoke off (about 2/3 from the top), exposing the center of the artichoke.

3. Cut the top of the artichoke off (about 2/3 from the top), exposing the center of the artichoke.

4. Trim the base to remove any remaining dark green leaves.

4. Trim the base to remove any remaining dark green leaves.

5. Use a small spoon to scoop out the fibrous choke.

5. Use a small spoon to scoop out the fibrous choke.

6. Rub the prepared artichoke with lemon juice all over to prevent discoloration or browning.

6. Rub the prepared artichoke with lemon juice all over to prevent discoloration or browning.

Voilà! Your artichokes are ready to be cooked.

How to Prepare Artichokes

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7 Responses to Artichoke and Prosciutto Lasagna (and How to Prepare Artichokes)

  1. Is it possible to use canned artichokes? We are on a budget.. but unfortunately major foodies. This is right up our alley!

    • Hi Cheryl! I’m not sure I would use canned artichokes, because they tend to be a little soft (and sometimes flavor is added to the flavoring liquid – you don’t want that). I know that artichokes are also sold cored and frozen, these would make better substitutes. Let me know how your lasagna turns out!

  2. This sounds amazing!  I'm bookmarking it right now on pinterest.  Also, I was glad to see you have visited Paris and blogged about it. My husband and I will be there next month for the first time!!

  3. Thank you for the artichoke tutorial! These are one of my favourite veggies but I always shy away from buying them fresh because I don't really know how to deal with them. This is great.  And the dish looks decadently delicious.

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