Roman-style artichokes: a side dish with peasant origins

carciofi alla romana

The Roman cuisine of peasant tradition has a long history that has reached the present day, preserving the simple flavors of the past. One of the traditional Roman dishes which proposes theOsteria 'Gusto it is the Roman artichoke.

The artichoke is a vegetable known since ancient times and is among its natural characteristics important beneficial and medicinal properties. Its use has been attested since the ancient Egyptians, but the Etruscans, Greeks and Romans also consumed it, although in a wilder form than today.

As known, the artichoke prefers humid environments and is cultivated above all in Mediterranean countries such as Italy, Spain and Egypt, but also in France and California.

It contains many nutritional properties such as potassium, iron, magnesium and is rich in fibre. It is recommended for those who have hypertension problems and is an excellent ally for any type of diet because It has a low calorie content.

In the artichokes alla Romana, a recipe introduced by peasant culture, the artichoke is cooked whole, precisely because the variety of artichoke grown in the Lazio countryside has the characteristic of being particularly soft and free of thorns. The name of this variety of artichoke is "mammola" (or also "cimarolo") and is protected by the PGI mark which certifies the quality and originality of the product. It looks quite large, is versatile in the kitchen and is characterized by a green color that goes towards purple.

Before cooking artichokes Roman style you need to clean them removing the hardest outer leaves. They are then stuffed with a mixture of chopped herbs: parsley, garlic and mint. The peculiarity of this dish is also in the cooking, in fact the artichokes are placed on the bottom of the pan with the stem upwards and cooked over a low heat until they are soft and ready to eat.

The peasant tradition has always managed to create tasty and nutritious dishes with what the land offers with simplicity. Roman-style artichokes are the typical simple side dish and yet capable of making the most of the poor produce from the garden. In fact, parsley, garlic and mint are the ingredients that manage to give particularity and balance to this dish.

So come and visit us inOsteria 'Gusto, we are in Rome in via Della Frezza 16, near the Ara Pacis and the Mausoleum of Augustus. You can taste our version of Roman artichokes and the other typical dishes on our menu, immersed in the magical atmosphere of the historic center.