Roman Braised Artichokes

Micaela Pavoncello

15 minutes + 50 minutes in active

6 servings

Crispy fried artichokes on cream-colored plate with lots of lemon slices, matzo on the side

Photo by Penny De Los Santos

This Roman recipe for tender braised artichokes, called carciofi alla Romana in Italian, is from tour guide Micaela Pavoncello’s family, who has lived in the Eternal City since the time of Julius Caesar. Serve them alongside her recipe for roasted lamb shoulder and riso all’uovo, a creamy rice dish.

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


2 lemons, juiced

6 artichokes

4 tablespoons olive oil

3 teaspoons salt

1 ½ teaspoon black pepper

  1. Fill a large bowl with 4 cups of water and the juice of 2 lemons. 
  2. Using a serrated knife, cut off the top third of an 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 artichokes and place them into the lemon water. 
  3. Drain the artichokes from the water and season each artichoke with ½ teaspoon and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper.
  4. Place 4 tablespoons of olive oil into a large pot over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, place the artichokes into the pot and sear them on all sides until golden brown, about 4-6 minutes. 
  5. Position the artichokes upside down in the pot, so each artichoke stem is facing up. Pour enough water into the pot to cover the artichoke hearts and keep the stems above the water. Simmer over a medium to medium low heat for about 30-45 minutes, covered, until the artichokes are fork tender. 
  6. Serve hot.