Frank Sinatra's Favorite Appetizer Is Perfect for Spring

You can still order it at one of his favorite New York City restaurants, and we’re dishing up the recipe so you can re-create this classic appetizer at home.

<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

Ol' Blue Eyes. Everything from his lyrics to his style to his signature two-ingredient cocktail is charming and classic. And if we learned anything from the story behind the grocery store cake he adored so much that he special-ordered one to his home every week, it's that Sinatra is remarkably loyal.

He frequently toured solo and with the Rat Pack at the height of his career. Still, when Sinatra was near his hometown of Hoboken, New Jersey, he was a regular at one Central Park-adjacent family-owned restaurant that debuted in 1944 and is still open today: Patsy's. (Sinatra owned a penthouse in Manhattan for part of his life, making it easy to visit Patsy's often.)

"We certainly wouldn't be in the position we would be today if it wasn't for him," chef and owner Salvatore Scognamillo admitted to The New York Times.

The singer became such a regular that he had a separate entrance and room to enjoy his Patsy's in peace. The Patsy's crew used to open the restaurant on Thanksgiving so that Sinatra could dine there. Even though the star died in May 1998, Patsy's still honors Sinatra by serving his favorite dishes each year on his birthday, Dec. 12.

Now in its 80th year, the restaurant is beloved by locals and visitors alike—as well as many other celebrities like Tom Hanks, Madonna, George Clooney, and Oprah Winfrey—for their cozy Neapolitan-inspired Italian-American staples like eggplant Parmigiana, manicotti, steak pizzaiola, and linguine with clams.

Regardless of what entrée you order, if you'd like to follow Sinatra's lead, your meal should start with stuffed artichokes. According to Scognamillo, these have been on the menu "since day one," and Patsy's team confirms that this is "one of Frank Sinatra's very favorite recipes."

How to Make Frank Sinatra’s Favorite Appetizer

Sinatra wasn't fond of sharp garlic flavors, so the kitchen team adjusted their typical preparation of what's listed on the menu as Artichoke Hearts Oreganata to feature just a single clove of garlic for all four stuffed artichokes.

That doesn't mean these stuffed artichokes are light on flavor, though. The bread crumb filling is a symphony of flavor, thanks to briny olives and capers, fresh and dried herbs, and nutty Parmesan cheese.

You might be more familiar with whipping up artichoke recipes using canned artichoke hearts that are already trimmed and cooked. (We can never resist spinach-artichoke dip, either!) But we promise that it won't take long to become well-versed in how to cook fresh artichokes. Fresh artichoke season peaks from March to May, so now is a terrific time to do it "my way."

<p>Dotdash Meredith</p>

Dotdash Meredith

Frank Sinatra's Stuffed Artichoke Recipe

Yield: 4 servings


  • 4 large artichokes

  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs

  • 2 tablespoons chopped black olives

  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

  • 1 tablespoon chopped capers

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • Salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (203 degrees C).

  2. 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, then with a small spoon, remove the fuzzy choke and tiny inner leaves. Reserve.

  3. Place the bread crumbs, olives, cheese, garlic, parsley, basil, capers, red pepper flakes, oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon black 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; pressing the filling down with the back of the spoon until each artichoke is filled to the top. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. In a tall-sided baking dish, place the artichokes filling-side up. 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 the artichokes are cooked through. Check for tenderness by removing a leaf or two after 1 hour and tasting. (If the water level drops to less than 1/2 inch while cooking, add more.)

  5. Take the stuffed artichokes out of the oven, then increase the heat to broil. Remove the foil from the dish.

  6. Place the artichokes under the broiler until the bread crumb topping has browned, about 2 to 3 minutes.

  7. Place the artichokes on a serving platter. Before serving, spoon 2 to 4 tablespoons of the pan juices over each artichoke.

Adapted from Patsy’s Italian Restaurant.

Read the original article on All Recipes.