Weeknight Pasta with Artichoke Sauce.
This pasta with artichoke sauce is the easiest dinner ever!
Perfect for spring, perfect for busy weeknights, perfect if you just want something fast. If you’re making dinner for just yourself! Really, the reasons are endless.
It’s good. It’s simple. It makes dinner easy.
I’m back with another versatile, easy dinner recipe for you this week! You can use any cut of pasta (I’m partial to a noodle like bucatini), add more garlic or parmesan and really control the flavor here based on your preferences.
This dish could be a quick side to some grilled chicken or the main meal. You can throw in some clean-out-the-fridge vegetables or bacon – truly adding in almost anything you’d like.
Because this dish really only needs four ingredients: artichokes, parmesan, garlic and pasta!
Of course, we have some lemon, a little olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs to fancify it.
But really, it’s as simple as can be.
This artichoke sauce is basically artichoke pesto! It’s SO super simple – a perfectly easy pantry meal. It all starts with a can or jar of artichokes. Be sure to drain your artichokes from the can or jar. Those get blended with the parm, garlic and olive oil – and that’s about it. Season with salt and pepper and you’re good.
So embarrassingly easy.
You can use it exactly like pesto too: cook your pasta, drain it and throw it back in the hot pot. Add in the artichoke sauce and toss the pasta until it’s all combined. The residual heat warms the artichoke sauce and brings the whole thing together. You can also throw in a few tablespoons of reserved pasta water.
And of course, more parmesan.
This is one of those meals that will be as flavorful as you make it. If you really love garlic, add in more. As long as you’re using a high-quality parmesan, it will bring a nutty, savory flavor to the dish. I suggest tasting both the sauce and the pasta dish as you go so you can add more salt and pepper where necessary. And don’t forget to salt your pasta water so it imparts flavor too! It’s such a simple dish that building the layers of flavor is where this will shine.
The artichoke pesto/sauce is something you can also prep ahead of time and keep in the fridge for a few days. That way it comes together even more easily.
Like traditional pesto, there is a bit of texture here in the way that the artichoke sauce coats the pasta.
To finish things off, I like to add in a sprinkling of fresh herbs, such as parsley. It adds a fresh flavor and really makes this dish feel springlike, even though it’s a quick pasta comfort food.
Pasta with Artichoke Sauce
Pasta with Artichoke Sauce
- 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
- 1 lemon, zest freshly grated and juiced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 8 ounces spaghetti or bucatini, cooked
- ¼ cup reserved starchy pasta water.
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, for topping
- Note: you can use artichokes that are marinated in oil or brined in water for this recipe - just be sure to drain the artichokes completely. The kind of artichokes you use will determine the flavor here, so be aware of adding more salt and pepper when needed. Also a tip: if you use artichoke hearts marinated in oil, you can use the drained oil in the artichoke sauce recipe!
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
- Place the drained artichokes, cheese, lemon zest and juice, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a food processor. Blend until combined and creamy. It won’t be totally smooth, but you do want it combined and sauce-like. Taste and season the sauce with more salt and pepper as you find necessary. This can be stored in the fridge for 3 to 4 days before using.
- Cook the pasta according to the directions, making sure to reserve some of the starchy water. Drain the pasta and place it back in the hot pot. Immediately pour the artichoke sauce over it and toss to combine - this will take a few minutes to fully toss it. Add in a few tablespoons of the pasta water to bring it all together. This will not be overly creamy or saucy - it’s more like a pesto that coats the noodles!
- Sprinkle on more parmesan cheese and the herbs. Serve immediately!
Spring is coming!!