8 small globe artichokes, outer leaves peeled, stems trimmed
2 lemons, juice only
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
4 carrots, peeled, chopped
1 onion, peeled, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, peeled, finely sliced
2 celery sticks, trimmed, stringy parts peeled away, sliced
3 bay leaves
6 black peppercorns, left whole
300ml/10½fl oz white wine
1 tsp caster sugar
sea salt flakes
100ml/3½fl oz water
dash extra virgin olive oil
handful chopped fresh parsley leaves
Cut the peeled, trimmed artichokes in half lengthways and scoop out the hairy 'chokes' using a teaspoon. Rub the artichoke halves all over with the lemon juice to prevent them from discolouring. Set aside.
Heat a heavy-based, lidded ovenproof casserole over a medium heat. When the casserole is hot, add the fennel and coriander seeds and dry fry for 30 seconds to one minute, or until the seeds begin to pop. (CAUTION: Keep the pan away from the eyes and face as popping seeds can be dangerous.)
Add the carrots, onion, garlic, celery, bay leaves, peppercorns, wine and sugar and season, to taste, with salt. Stir well to combine.
Place the artichoke halves into the casserole, then pour over the water. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, then cover the casserole with a lid and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
When the vegetables are tender, remove the casserole from the heat and set aside, uncovered, until cooled slightly.
When the casserole contents have cooled slightly, drizzle over the olive oil, then sprinkle over the parsley. Serve the artichokes alla Romana with steamed fish or barbecued meat.
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