Sometimes, when my palate is jaded and my body tired, I just want a dish of vegetables. That's when I cook myself a Roman vignarola. This is another dish from Marcella Hazan's Marcella Cucina and it consists of small onions, broad beans, peas, shredded lettuce and artichoke hearts cooked slowly in olive oil, the only seasoning being coarse seasalt. The green beans are not an authentic ingredient, being my own addition; in Britain I used to like to add a few finely sliced, runner beans. I am hopeless at trimming artichokes and usually end up with nothing left so I confess that I cheat, for this dish, by using the frozen artichoke hearts available here. [In Britain you could use the tinned ones, but not antipasti artichokes.] Vignarola can be served warm or at room temperature and the only accompaniment needed is some good, home-made, flavoured bread.
Elvis at the O2 Exhibition in London
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