Yesterday was Easter, or "Pasqua", and we made a delicious Easter dinner at home. We started with Tuscan stuffed artichokes, and then continued the meal with rack of lamb with garlic and rosemary, simple roasted baby potatoes, and local asparagus with hollandaise sauce. To finish, we had tiramisu garnished with strawberries.
We shopped at our local Mercato San Ambrogio for all the ingredients, so everything was fresh as can be. We went to our favorite butcher for lamb chops, but when we saw how small his chops were we told him not to cut them up - to leave them as racks. At home we trimmed off the fat, put them on a baking sheet meat-side up with the bones of the two racks intertwined and laced with rosemary. Then we gave them a heavy sprinkle of salt, pepper and chopped garlic, and roasted them in a really hot oven for 10-15 minutes. The two racks looked so small that we were afraid they wouldn't feed all 7 of us, but it was just enough so no one was overstuffed at the end of the meal.
Our first course of stuffed artichokes turned out perfect. I learned this recipe at a cooking class I was invited to attend a few weeks ago. It was given by Ginny and Fiamma who's company Kitchen Chez Nous offers cooking lessons and private cooking services. I have to say the artichokes turned out better last night than they did during the cooking class - I think mainly because I chopped everything by hand and they used a food processor. The food processor made everything in the stuffing blend together into a solid dough, whereas my hand-chopped bread, herbs and cheese had a great texture. To avoid a really long post, I'll post the recipe separately below. It's labor intensive, but worth it.
I got the Tiramisu recipe off the internet (actually, I combined a few different recipes) and it turned out surprisingly well. The cream was light and fluffy, but held it's shape nicely and wasn't too runny. I used store bought ladyfingers which were fine, although I would imagine it could be even better with a fresh sponge cake or poundcake instead. Again, I'll post the recipe below.
Buona Pasqua, e Buon Appetito a Te!