A highly seasonal Italian dish
This is a wonderful dish from the Ragusa province, combining four of spring’s most cherished foods: baby artichokes, broad beans, tiny peas and tender spring veal.
4 baby artichokes
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
6 tbsp olive oil
125g fresh peas
225g shelled broad beans
250g minced veal
2 tbsp parmesan, grated
1 thick slice of stale country-style bread, crusts removed, soaked in milk for 15 mins and squeezed dry
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Italian ‘00’ flour, for dredging
Fresh mint, chopped, to garnish
Remove and discard the artichokes’ top outer leaves and slice off the spiny tips. Remove the choke and cut the artichoke into ‘Y’ shapes. Put in a bowl, cover with water and add the lemon juice.
Heat 3 tbsp of the olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan over low heat. Add the peas, broad beans and artichokes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well, cover and cook for 10 mins, adding a few tbsp of water to create a little steam. This is called cooking in ‘umido’, which preserves colour and texture.
Meanwhile, put the veal, cheese, bread, garlic and egg in a bowl. Season and mix well. Using your hands, form sausages the size of wine corks and dredge in flour. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan, add the sausages and cook for 12 mins, turning to brown on all sides.
Add the sausages to the vegetables, and stir well to blend the flavours. Garnish with freshly chopped mint and serve.
Recipe: Ursula Ferrigno