Artichoke Stew with Shiitakes: Zuppa Di Carcofi

TOTAL TIME: 35 min
Prep: 15 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 20 min
YIELD: 4 servings


  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
  • 12 cloves garlic, thinly sliced, plus 1 clove, cut in 1/2
  • 1/2 cup sweet vermouth (recommended: Cinzano Rosso)
  • 8 small artichokes, cut in 1/4’s
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Dried red chile, chopped
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, hard part of foot removed, cut in to 1/2’s
  • 1 1/2 cups basic tomato sauce, recipe follows
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 baguette
  • Hee Hee garnish, recipe follows
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
      • 1/2 medium carrot, finely grated
      • 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved
      • Salt
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        Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

        In a heavy bottomed 6-quart pan, heat the olive oil until just smoking.

        Add 12 whole garlic cloves and saute about 4 minutes until caramelized. Be careful not to burn. Deglaze pan with sweet vermouth. Trim artichokes by cutting off the top with a serrated bread knife. Trim down to the choke, cut unto 1/4 pieces and let sit in water and lemon juice so as not to discolor. Toss into the pan with the garlic, add remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil chopped dried chili and shiitake mushrooms. Add tomato sauce and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and season with 1 tablespoon salt.

        Meanwhile slice the bread, toast on a grill and rub with the remaining cut garlic clove.

        Spoon Hee Hee garnish over the toasted bread and serve with the stew.
        In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt and serve. This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.

        Yield: 4 cups
        Clean and trim artichokes. Cut into paper thin slices and add to a bowl with lemon juice Add the extra-virgin olive oil, chili flakes and sea salt.

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