An excellent side dish to a great entree!

3/4  pound potatoes
8  artichokes
juice of 1 lemon
1/2  cup dry white wine
1 bay leaf
1 star anise
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 ounces Prosciutto, diced
1/4  cup  pinion or pine nuts. toasted

Boil the potatoes in their skins until they can easily be pierced with a
knife; drain, peel, and mash them with a potato masher or pass through a
ricer into a bowl.

Discard the coarse outer leaves from each of the artichokes and cut away
the toughest part of the stem; as soon as you finish trimming each
artichoke, place it in a bowl of cool water acidulated with half of the
lemon juice. This will prevent discoloration ofthe artichokes.

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil with the remaining lemon juice, the wine,
bay leaf, star anise and I teaspoon of salt in a large pot; cook for 20 minutes.

Drop the artichokes into the boiling water and cook them until tender but
not soft, about 5 minutes; remove them with a slotted spoon. Place the
artichokes on paper towels to dry. Using a paring  or utility knife,
remove the stems and the leaves; scoop out the tender heart with a 
teaspoon. You will be left with 8 artichoke bottoms and a pile of
stems, leaves, and hearts on the other. Reserve these!

Pass the leaves, stems, and hearts of the artichokes through a food mill
into the bowl of mashed potatoes. Add salt, pepper, and half of the olive

Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a  large fluted tip and pipe it
evenly onto the  artichoke bottoms.  Arrange  the stuffed artichoke bottoms
in a casserole. Preheat the broiler.

Saute the diced Prosciutto in the remaining olive oil for I
minute; it should not brown or become crisp.

Top the artichoke bottoms with the pine nuts and Prosciutto, and broil them for
5 minutes, or until the artichokes and filling are heated through and the
top is lightly browned. Serve immediately. 


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