Caravaggio is a great naturist painter of the XVII century known for his use of light and the choice of his subjects. Born in Lombardy, he moves to Rome at the age of twenty to live under the houseship of a Lord Cardinal thanks to family connections. There he lives in austerity being served meager meals such as salad as a first, second, and third course. Thankfully at some point in his life he meets a great benefactor who nourishes his stomach in exchange for his paintings, a restaurant owner in Piazza Navona.
Two of his paintings are from that period "Il ragazzo che monda la pera" and "Il ragazzo con il cesto di frutta" and seem to be inspired by the back of the osteria.
Caravaggio is also known for having a bad temper and quite famous for picking fights even killing a man for a foul during a ball game. We would like to remember one such episode at the Del Moro restaurant in Rome.
"Caravaggio enters the osteria carrying his sword. He sits to order a dish with artichokes. The waiter brings the artichokes: some are made in butter, some in oil. But which are which?
Caravaggio asks for an explanation and the waiter answers: "you only need to smell them to understand". He should have never said that! The painter angry at his reply throws the dish at him. Still not satisfied, he runs after the poor waiter with his sword circling him around the place.
Carciofi alla romana (artichoke dish from Lazio)
Artichokes - water - lemon juice - parsley - mint - garlic - olive oil - salt - pepper.
Clean the artichokes by removing the outside leafs and leaving the stems (only the soft part), throw them in water with lemon juice. Drain, open its leafs, fill with parsley, mint and garlic, salt and close. Place them in a pan and cover with water and oil, salt and close, put in the oven.
The artichokes can be served when the liquid evaporates.
This story is taken from the book Tacuinum dè Eccellentissimi, ali&no publisher.