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!
Did you make this recipe?
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25 Comments on “Weeknight Pasta with Artichoke Sauce.”
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Made this tonight, it was quick and very favorable. Thank you for another easy and delicious weeknight dinner!
Do you think I could leave out the parm and make it dairy free or is it necessary ?
i think you can replace it with something! maybe nutritional yeast? or if you have a dairy free parm you like? i wouldn’t skip it entirely only because it’s such a simple sauce, that you really need the savory, nuttiness from the parm!
Thank you! I’ll let you know if I try it with subs :)
Can you use spaghetti squash instead of pasta?
This was amazing!! And so easy. We used our Nutribullet to make the sauce which made cleanup so quick. We added roasted Brussels and asparagus too. Next time, we’ll either hold back some of the sauce, halve the sauce ingredients or make a full pound of pasta because it was actually quite saturated in the sauce. Definitely a new fave. Thank you! <3
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This really is an easy weeknight pasta recipe. Used a full pound of whole wheat spaghetti from Trader Joe’s and mixed in some leftover arugula. Will definitely make again.
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This was amazingly flavorful, even my picky kids loved it. We used a full pound of pasta per other reviews and it probably would have stretched another half pound if we tried. Next time I’ll add veggies or chicken just to change it up. This is now in my personal recipe box and will be used often for sure!
Do I understand right to use the juice of 1 lemon in sauce? With the juice of one lemon sauce is too sour… maybe I made a mistake, please correct me.
Great sauce, would make again for sure. A little too sour for me, next time I’ll reduce the amount of lemon juice. Otherwise it was perfect!
This was amazing! I had soybean noodles boiling and last minute decided to be wild and crazy and find a new sauce recipe and I glaced in the fridge and thought 🤔 I wonder if I could use artichokes so I googled it and found this recipe and I had just enough of everything haha 😂 it was perfect. We garnished it with diced tomatoes and olives. It was a little wet but I didn’t measure anything so I think I did that myself haha
This is so, so good! I only used half my lemon juice bc it was a large lemon, and I eyeballed the oil, but it was absolutely delicious and so different. I served it with Banza penne with some torn fresh mozzarella on top, and garnished with some flat leaf parsley and Aleppo pepper. This will be a new staple!
This was terrific. I used a standing blender and just added a little more pasta water. Delicious
Can’t wait to make this again. have given recipe to 3 friends too!!!!!!!!!!
This is a good recipe and if it doesn’t suit your personal tastes, learn to tweak it! I made this three times before I decided to post a comment. First time, I followed the recipe exactly. I’m someone that LOVES lemon and garlic and I found it to be very lemon forward. While I was OK with it, it did not suit the tastes of the people I served this to and they barely ate it. Second time, I used all of the zest of one lemon, but only 1/2 of the juice. I also only used 2 garlic cloves instead of 4. This time when I served it the same group of people ate it. Third time I made it, I again decreased the amount of lemon juice and garlic. I roasted the canned artichokes before making the sauce which added a nice smoky flavor to it. I also added a bit of red pepper flakes to the sauce which balanced out the other flavors. Experiment #4 – I am going to try adding some Kalmata olives to the sauce because “why not”.
Can I use frozen artichokes?
Made this last night and it was very good. Followed the recipe exactly and did not think the lemon taste was too strong – it was actually the highlight. My only criticism is that the dish turned cold rather quickly.
So good. If you like pesto style & artichokes taste this will be a new fave!
Could this be served at room temperature?