As a Christmas Special, we propose the Cardoon Parmigiana, a very traditional Main Course with a strong taste. This dish takes the name from the well known Aubergine Parmigiana, but has a totally different taste and is going to surprise you and your guests with the unique taste of the Cardoons.
Portion for 4/5 People.
- 1 Large Cardoon
- Plain Flour
- 6 Large Eggs
- 300g Low Fat Pork Stew
- 1L Sunflower Oil
- 300g Fresh Cherry Tomatoes
- 1L Tomatoes Passata
- 1 Red Onion
- 2 Cloves of Garlic
- 3 Mozzarellas
- Start preparing the Cardoons cutting them into 10 cm pieces, ready for be blanched. Place the chunks in a large pot full of cold water, then bring it to boil. Add 1 and 1/2 Tbsp of salt and leave it to boil until soft (usually it takes around 30min but depends on the Cardoon). When it’s ready, drain the water and leave it to rest until cold.
- Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Chop the onion into small cubes and fry them into 2 Tbsp of olive oil (Tip: add a pinch of salt to keep them off to dry). When the bits will be nice and soft add the garlic. Stir for a couple of minutes until the garlic gets slightly golden, then add the pork stew. Seal the meat and add the cherry tomatoes previously cut in half, stir all the mix and cover. Leave the cherry tomatoes glazing everything and, once they start to fall apart, add the tomatoes passata. Adjust with salt (if needed) and leave it to cook for a couple of hours circa. You know it’s ready when the meat is nice, tender and breaks easily, otherwise leave it to cook for longer.
- Hard boil 2 egg (put them in boiling water for 9min, add 1Tbsp of salt).
- Now it’s time to deep fry our Cardoons. Bring to 180C the sunflower oil. While the oil is reaching the temperature, beat 3 or 4 eggs with a pinch of salt and wet the Cardoons with it. Once it’s done, cover them with the plain flour. As they look totally white, they’re ready to be fried. (Tip2: it’s better prepared and fry the chunks in small groups otherwise they will be sticky and full of flour). The Cardoons won’t get a lot of color in the oil, so just make them crispy and slightly gold.
- Finally, it’s time to put together our Parmigiana. Take a deep medium oven tray, lay some spoons of sauce (without meat) on the bottom, put a layer of Cardoons, again some sauce and meat (to cover the layer of Cardoons), Parmigiano, mozzarella and the boiled egg chopped. Repeat this using all the Cardoons and finish all sprinkling 1 whole chopped mozzarella on top covering the all the surface (Tip3: try to put less sauce on the lower layer and some more on top. The dish will be more uniform instead of having a pool of tomatoes sauce on the bottom)
- Bake the Cardoon Parmigiana on 200C for 30/45 min, it must be crispy on top.