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!