Lightly Breaded Artichoke Hearts Baked in a Sweet Italian Gorgonzola Champagne Sauce

A decadent cheesy appetizer that is perfect for a dinner party or your date night menu.  This will make a total of 6 artichokes. Serve as shown for couples to share or one per guest as a light starter. If you like this recipe, try some other versions Breaded Artichoke Hearts in a Garlic Butter Sauce Topped with Mozzarella Cheese, Breaded Mushrooms in a Garlic butter Sauce Topped with Mozzarella Cheese and Diced Tomatoes, or Breaded Mushrooms Baked in a Garlic Herb Sweet Italian Gorgonzola Champagne Sauce.

Ingredients

1 – 14 oz. can of artichoke hearts there will be about 6 artichokes in the can
1 small shallot, finely diced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 cup of Freixenet Cava (sparkling wine from Spain) or your favorite version
1 oz. of gorgonzola dolce cheese about 1/4 cup
1/3 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese and extra for garnish if desired
1/2 cup of pasta flour (semolina)
1 egg
2 tablespoons of olive oil
A sprinkle of kosher salt

Technique

Drain and rinse artichokes and set aside. In a medium sized skillet heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add shallots and sauté until slightly browned. Deglaze the pan with the Freixenet or your favorite sparkling wine. Stir and reduce slightly, about 3 minutes. Lower heat to low and add the sweet gorgonzola cheese and shredded mozzarella and stir until melted and well combined. Once nice and creamy, remove from heat and set aside.

In a small bowl beat egg with a little bit of water, about a teaspoon until fluffy. Set aside. Add pasta flour to a small bowl and set aside. Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a medium sized skillet. Dredge each artichoke heart in the egg mixture until evenly coated and then into the pasta flour and place into the skillet. Repeat with remaining hearts. Turn artichokes gently until slightly brown on all sides. Lightly sprinkling them with a little bit of kosher salt as you turn them. Transfer them then to a small to medium sized baking dish. If you intend to put three of them in a dish as shown you will need to or serve family style by using one large baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over the top. Dividing it between two dishes if using and sprinkle with a couple tablespoons of shredded mozzarella cheese. Place into a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or until cheese begins to brown. Serve in baking dishes or spoon artichokes and sauce onto plates. Keep in mind that the baking dish will be hot.

Suggested Beverage

Try Frexinet Brut Cava (Spain), J Cuvée 20 (California) or Zardetto Prosecco Brut Sparkling Wine (Italy).

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