Penne Pasta With Fresh Artichokes Recipe

Penne with artichokes in a bowl

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Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
745 Calories
40g Fat
87g Carbs
18g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 745
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 40g 52%
Saturated Fat 14g 71%
Cholesterol 47mg 16%
Sodium 494mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 87g 32%
Dietary Fiber 23g 80%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 18g
Vitamin C 32mg 160%
Calcium 123mg 9%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 1205mg 26%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

You may be familiar with jarred artichoke hearts—all the work is done for you and they're easy to prepare. However, a fresh artichoke pasta with in-season artichokes is wonderful, especially when prepared as simply as possible. This way, the flavors of this vegetable really come forth; all you need for this recipe is a little garlic and butter, a splash of lemon, and some onions, and you're all set. Boil up some penne (or other short, stubby pasta) and you're ready to go.

In case you have never worked with fresh artichokes before, they have a taste that's slightly bitter, and somewhat similar to Brussels sprouts and asparagus. They just need some time in a skillet to soften.

Reprinted with permission from "On Top of Spaghetti..." by Johanne Killeen and George German (Harper Collins 2006).


  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 cups onions, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 8 to 10 medium fresh artichoke hearts, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, more as needed

  • 1 pound penne pasta

  • 5 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

  2. Combine 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, with the onions, garlic, artichoke hearts, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in a large straight-sided skillet. Cover and sauté over moderate heat, stirring often, until the artichokes are tender, about 15 minutes. Taste and add more salt if necessary. If the mixture seems dry, add up to 3 more tablespoons olive oil.

  3. Generously salt the pasta water and drop in the penne. Cook, stirring often until the penne is tender. Drain, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking water, and transfer the penne to the sauté pan with the vegetables.

  4. Add the butter and lemon juice, and toss to combine. If the mixture seems dry, add the cooking water, a few tablespoons at a time, until you have a nice, moist consistency. Serve right away sprinkled with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.



Peeling and trimming an artichoke isn't hard, but takes a few steps of cleaning, trimming, and removing the leaves to get to the hearts in the middle, the part you want for this recipe. You don't want to eat the leaves.

If you want to do the prep work once to make this dish twice, buy extra artichokes and freeze the extra cooked hearts to use in a future recipe.

How to Store and Freeze Penne Pasta With Fresh Artichokes

This recipe will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight covered container for 3 to 5 days. Simply reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop in a pan over medium-low heat until completely hot. You can freeze leftovers if you like for a couple of months in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave or in a sauce pan with a little butter.