Stuffed Artichokes Serves 4 One of Frank Sinatra's very favorite recipes. Below is our typical preparation, but we changed it slightly to accommodate Frank's aversion to a strong garlic taste 4 large or jumbo artichokes 1 cup dry bread crumbs 2 tablespoons finely chopped black olives, preferably gaeta 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 1 garlic clove, pressed or minced 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil 1 tablespoon chopped nonpareil capers, rinsed and drained 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste 1/4 cup olive oil Salt, to taste Preheat the oven to 450F. Rinse the artichokes under cold running water. With a sharp knife, remove the stem, and cut 2 inches from the top of each artichoke. Pull the center leaves apart, and with a small spoon remove the fuzzy choke and tiny inner leaves. Reserve. Place the bread crumbs, olives, cheese, garlic, parsley, basil, capers, red pepper flakes, oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large mixing bowl. Add the olive oil gradually, stirring until thoroughly combined and moistened. Spoon the bread-crumb mixture into the hollowed-out artichoke centers, tamping down with the back of the spoon until each artichoke is filled to the top. Season to taste with salt and additional pepper. Place the artichokes in a baking dish and add enough water to cover the bottom halves of the artichokes. Cover the pan with foil, and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until artichokes are cooked through. Check for tenderness by removing a leaf or two after l hour and tasting. If the water level drops to less than 1/2 inch while cooking, add more. Remove from the oven and increase the heat to broil. Take off the foil and place the artichokes under the broiler until the bread-crumb topping has browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Place the artichokes on a serving platter and spoon 2 to 4 tablespoons of the pan juices over each artichoke. Asparagus Rolls Serves 4 There are many ways to cook asparagus, but I find the following method easiest. Break off the bottom inch of each asparagus stalk and discard. Rinse the asparagus and place in one layer in a large skillet. Add water almost to cover. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until just tender. Depending on the age and thickness of the asparagus, that could be anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. Check tenderness frequently with a fork. 2 tablespoons ricotta 3 tablespoons finely chopped mozzarella 6 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 4 paper-thin slices prosciutto (each approximately 3 inches by 6 inches) 1 pound thin asparagus (about 16 to 20 spears), cooked (see headnote) and chilled 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup olive oil 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 1/2 cups chopped fresh plum tomatoes 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 1/3 cup dry white wine Preheat the broiler. In a small mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, and 4 tablespoons of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and mix thoroughly. Reserve. Place a slice of prosciutto on a cutting board. Divide the cooked asparagus evenly into 4 portions. Line up l portion (about 4 to 5 spears) on the prosciutto slice. Top with a quarter of the cheese mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the ends of the prosciutto over the asparagus, and roll until the asparagus and cheese is completely wrapped in prosciutto. Repeat for the remaining 3 portions. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium flame. Place the asparagus rolls cheese side up in the skillet and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the cheese begins to melt.Salvatore Scognamillo is the author of 'Patsy's Cookbook: Classic Italian Recipes from a New York City Landmark Restaurant', published 2002 under ISBN 9780609609545 and ISBN 0609609548.