2 teaspoons of minced garlic
1/2 cup of grated pecorino Romano cheese
2 1/2 cups of toasted Italian bread crumbs
2 links of cooked Italian sausage, finely chopped
1 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup of chopped ramps (optional)
4 12-inch-long pieces of aluminum foil
CUT the stems off the bottom of the artichokes (reserve) and take about three-quarters of an inch off the tops and discard them.
TRIM the stems on all sides until the center (white in color) is revealed. Chop this up and add to the mixture.
SPREAD open the artichoke leaves and using an ice cream scoop or spoon carefully take out the center section (the choke) of the vegetable.
COMBINE in a mixing bowl, the oregano, chili flakes, ramps, sausage, bread crumbs, cheese, artichoke stems, salt and pepper and mix in the egg.
HEAT the oven to 425°.
SPOON in the artichoke mixture (starting from the center) and adding it to as many of the leaves as possible.
DRIZZLE olive oil evenly over the artichokes and double wrap with the aluminum foil.
BAKE at 425° for 90 minutes. Allow to cool and serve.
Note: You may wish to make this dish ahead of time, refrigerate and use it as a heavy appetizer. Be sure to let the artichokes to come to room temperature before serving.
For more on the art and craft of wine, visit John Brown's WineBoy blog at thegazz.com.