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.