Artichokes Stuffed Attuppati  
and Cooked in Tomato Sauce Palermo Style


This typical dish cooked in Palermo is a “piatto  unico”, a complete dinner, because the sauce is used for condiment to the pasta- cut ziti or spaghetti are a must- and each rich tasting artichoke “cu tappu”- with a cover- includes lots of roughage, proteins, carbohydrate, and healthy fats, namely the extra virgin olive oil. It takes time to make this dish but it is worth the efforts.


Serves 6


Preparation of Artichokes

Prepare the artichokes for stuffing as in the directions. 
(See Preparation of Artichokes for Cooking) 
After eliminating the pointy top, remove a few more outside petals of the artichokes, until the leaves are tender and light in color. Bang them on the counter or cutting board to loosen the leaves, press them upside down and spread the petals apart so they can be filled with the stuffing. Scoop and remove from the center of the each artichoke the prickly leaves in the inside and the choke, the filament non edible part at the bottom of the artichokes.
Keep the artichokes in the acidulated solution until ready to stuff and cook them.


  • Ingredients
  • 6 Artichokes trimmed as per above directions
  • 1 large finely minced onion
  • ½ lb. sliced and diced mortadella or other cold cut of your choice
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • ¼ lb. caciocavallo cheese, diced ¼ inch
  • ¼ lb. of grated caciocavallo or pecorino cheese
  • ½ cup of chopped parsley
  • 1 chopped garlic cloves
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 or 4 medium eggs, lightly beaten in a wide deep dish
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil for cooking the eggs and artichokes
  • salt and pepper to taste



In a medium size skillet sauté the onion until golden in color using 4 tablespoons of oil, set on the side.
In the same skillet, lightly toast the breadcrumbs, mix in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place them in a large bowl. 
After cooling, combine with onion, garlic, grated cheese, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix it well. 
Place the trimmed artichokes on the counter or cutting board to drain. Spread the petals apart so they can be filled with the stuffing.
Divide equally in the center well of each artichoke the mortadella and diced caciocavallo  cheese and than take each artichoke on top of the bowl containing the stuffing and sprinkle stuffing between the petals, pressing it inside the artichoke. Set on the side.


La tappa- The Cover

Add a pinch of salt to the lightly beaten eggs. In a 10 inches skillet, over a medium heat, warm 3 tablespoons of oil. 
Hold each artichoke on top of the bowl containing the eggs and with the help of a spoon pour on top of each artichoke and between the petals as much as it will take. Place upside down in the skillet until the eggs are cooked.  Set on the side and follow the same procedure with the remaining artichoke.


The Sauce


  • 2 cans 28 oz. peeled tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • pinch of oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar (optional)


Preparation of the sauce

Place tomatoes in a vegetable mill to remove any seeds and skin. Set aside.
In a 6 quart sauce pot, place 4 tablespoons of oil and the onion finely chopped. Sauté over a medium heat until the onion is golden in color. Add the pureed tomato, oregano, salt and pepper to taste.

Cooking the Artichokes
Delicately, place the stuffed artichokes in the sauce and bring to a boil; simmer gently for 30 minutes.
Taste the tomato’s sauce for salt and pepper and if it is too sour add some sugar.
Check the artichokes: they are done when a leaf comes off easily when you pull it.
If needed, cook a few more minutes until artichokes are done.


Cook some ziti or spaghetti, spoon the extra sauce on top and serve with a mild grated cheese.
Treaty yourself, your family and guests, serving the artichokes ca  tappa  warm or at room temperature, spoon some of the sauce on top of each artichoke and serve with plenty of fresh Sicilian style bread.