Vignarola (Roman Spring Vegetables)

Micaela Pavoncello

10 minutes active, 40 minutes inactive

6 servings

Braised artichokes, peas, fava beans and onions in metal bowl

Photo by Penny De Los Santos

Come spring, Rome’s markets are brimming with prickly artichokes, and fresh fava beans and peas in their pods. This recipe from Roman tour guide Micaela Pavoncello makes the most of them. Serve it for Passover Seder alongside her recipes for roasted lamb shoulder with potatoes, braised artichokes, and creamy rice

Read about Micaela’s family on our partner the Jewish Food Society’s archive and find more Passover recipes here.


2 tablespoons olive oil

4 fresh white cippolini onions, peeled and quartered

Juice of 1 lemon

2 small artichokes

1 cup fresh fava beans 

1 cup fresh green peas

1 ½ teaspoons salt

4 leaves romaine lettuce, cut into 2-3 inch pieces

  1. Place the pol into a pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and saute until softened, 5-7 minutes. 
  2. In the meantime, trim the artichokes. Using a serrated knife, cut off the top third of the artichoke. Trim ¼ inch off of the stem. Use your hands to peel off the rough outer leaves on the lower section of the artichoke, to expose the tender and lighter leaves. Use a peeler to peel the artichoke stem. Use a spoon or a melon baller to scoop out the spiky “choke” in the center of the artichoke heart. Place the trimmed artichoke into the lemon water. Repeat trimming the remaining artichoke. Cut each trimmed artichoke into 8 pieces lengthwise. 
  3. Add the artichokes, fava beans and peas into the pot with the onions. Season with salt and cook over low-medium heat for 2-4 minutes. 
  4. Place the lettuce over the vegetables in one layer. Pour ¼ cup of water over the lettuce. Put a tight-fitting lid on the pot.
  5. Cook on low heat for 45-50 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  6. Serve hot.