I love pasta.  Love, love, love.  And mostly because I don’t eat a lot of it.  So when I make it, I want it to be super simple and not loaded with sauce or ingredients.  I had a few friends reach out and ask me to make something with artichokes and I was craving pasta, so here we go.  I love fresh, steamed artichokes with melted butter or a homemade aioli.  This is NOT that kind of recipe.  I’ve tried it before using the canned, quartered artichoke hearts and while it was good, it wasn’t what I wanted.  I picked up a can (yes, CAN) or artichoke BOTTOMS and bingo – that’s the winner.  Just the artichoke bottoms (not the leaves) offer the texture I was looking for with pasta.  Crispy pancetta on top is just the icing on the cake.

Spaghetti with Artichokes and Pancetta

1/2 pound spaghetti

1 can artichoke bottoms, sliced

1, 1-inch slab pancetta, diced into chunks

1 lemon, juiced

Splash heavy cream

Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)

1 T olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Freshly grated parmesan


Cook pancetta in skillet until crispy, set aside and discard fat except 1 tablespoon.

Drop pasta in salted boiling water, cook for about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, add olive oil to pancetta fat and saute artichoke bottom slices on low for 1 minute.  Add garlic and crushed red pepper, cook for 30 seconds.  Deglaze pan with lemon juice, season with salt and pepper.  Add splash (up to you, but 1/4 cup should do it) of heavy cream and simmer sauce on low for 2-3 minutes.  Add in hot pasta, some pasta water, and cook spaghetti for 2-3 minutes until it’s absorbed sauce.  You may need to add more pasta water – just make sure there’s a sauce and it doesn’t dry out!

Top with freshly grated parmesan and cooked pancetta.  Salud!