Lamb Sausage and Braised Artichokes

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I think we all have people, places, things, and even meals that provide a special comfort  This meal, lamb sausages, some vegetables, and a little grain… is just that.  A perfect, simple meal with a great group.  Hopefully, you’ll find this one useful to you as well.  If you don’t live near Arthur Avenue, any farmers market may have seasoned lamb sausage, which will still be great.  

I decided to try something new.  I have eaten braised artichokes often in Italy but have never made myself.  They were good for my first try, but they need to be better.  Here is what I did…

I purchased 8 whole artichokes and peeled the exterior tough leaves.  Once peeled down to the soft leaves, I trimmed the artichokes with a paring knife down to the base, see the pictures.  Once trimmed they went into a bowl of water with lemon, this keeps them from turning brown.  

Separately I diced some peppers, a plum tomato, olives, parsley, capers, and mushrooms.  Then I cut each of the artichokes lengthwise, in half and spooned the mixture into the artichokes and placed in the pan.  The add a little water, olive oil, fresh lemon juice and some white wine until the liquid almost covers the artichokes.  Add salt as well.  Cover the top and turn down heat to simmer, check every 15 mins until soft.  Should take 30 – 60 minutes.  Remove carefully and plate, adding fresh olive oil and parsley.  This was served as a side dish.

The protein was a lamb and parsley sausage.  I love this sausage!!!  I buy it in the Italian market on Arthur Ave. in the Bronx.  I made six pounds for 9 people and it ALL WENT!  This is super easy to make, you can simply grill on a BBQ or on a frying pan on the stove.  Either way only takes 15 – 20 minutes.  No seasoning or oil is needed, just cook.

Earlier in the day, I blanched 3 heads of broccoli rabe, only for 3 minutes in boiling water.  Remove the broccoli rabe and place in the colander to drain and dry for a few hours.  The about 15 minutes before you want to eat, saute garlic and olive oil in a pan with some sun dried tomatoes for just a few minutes, then add the broccoli rabe and saute for 15 mins, turning regularly.  Serve this on a platter and place the sausage on top.  This is a very typical southern Italian meal, sausage and broccoli rabe.  It is very simple and very good.

I also made a pasta with caramelized onions, herbs de province and butter.  Slice the onions, add to a saute pan with some olive oil and salt and saute until they start to caramelize.  Add a stick of butter and herbs, when butter is melted and coats the onions, it is ready.  Take the pasta out of the water, add to the onions in the large saute pan and toss.  If not enough liquid, you can ladle some pasta water from the pot and add to the sauce.  Once tossed, plate and eat.

The wine chosen for this meal is a very simple Montepulciano D’Abruzzo.  We drank Vignetti, which is the ultimate value, it was $7.99 per bottle.  This wine comes from south central Italy exactly where the broccoli rabe and sausage dish eliminates.

Buon appetite!

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