This post is all about actually cooking carciofi (as opposed to cleaning and trimming them) in a very basic way …
Line the bottom of the saucepan with olive oil, about half an inch thick.
All four carciofi are nice and snug … the size of the saucepan should reflect the amount of carciofi being cooked. Carciofi are touchy-feely vegetables and like to snuggle up.
Trim the staulks now, so that they will still fit within the saucepan when the saucepan gets covered.
Don’t throw away the chopped off staulks … put them back into the saucepan.
Now it’s time to massage the carciofi … use your hands to rotate them in the oil and make sure they are well covered in it.
Here they are: washed, cleaned, trimmed and oiled.
Add hot water … enough to cover the bottom of the carciofi by about 2 cm (1 inch) or so.
Turn on the heat and …
Cover the pan and cook for about 30 minutes, checking every now and then that there is enough liquid in the saucepan. Towards the end, remove the lid so that any excess liquid evaporates and the carciofi bottoms can brown a little.
Pour the oil over the carciofi … and serve ! Please note that carciofi are served at room temperature, not hot.
P.S. …. you know that French saying, “Qui s’excuse, s’accuse” … i.e. he who excuses himself, accuses himself …? Well … I do have to point out that these carciofi are a tad overcooked … and that was entirely my fault for not checking up often enough on them as they were cooking — a little more water would have been required. But they were still, fortunately, eminently edible thank goodness.