Love and Olive Oil

Spaghetti with Artichokes and Pancetta

Spaghetti with Artichokes and Pancetta

Taylor has this odd aversion to canned artichoke hearts. The marinated kind. I love them. We’ve had a jar in our fridge for quite some time, but every time I pull it out to throw it in a leftover-pasta, for example, he makes this disgusted face and I end up putting it back.

So when he first read this recipe, he started making that same face. But what a world of difference fresh artichokes make. Granted, it’s a bit of an ordeal cutting them into the 1/8″ thin slices that the recipe calls for, but the final result is as delicious as it is unusual. Something different, that’s for sure. And if it is an artichoke dish Taylor will actual eat, I’m all for making it again and again.

Would you believe that in the beginning months of this blog, my narratives accompanying each recipe were only a few sentences? My how things have changed. Now, a post feels incomplete with just a few paragraphs. I keep racking my brain for more to say to add to the mere two paragraphs that precede this recipe. And maybe that’s why I find myself writing this 3rd paragraph here about only writing two paragraphs… to flesh it out a bit. But you know what? Sometimes a recipe speaks for itself. Yea, that’s it. No more babble needed. I’ll shut up now.

Spaghetti with Artichokes and Pancetta

Makes 6 servings. Recipe from Food & Wine.

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1 lemon, halved
8 baby artichokes (about 1 pound)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
One 2-ounce piece of lardo or pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 cup dry white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound spaghetti
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving


Fill a large bowl with water. Squeeze in the juice from the lemon halves, then add the lemon halves to the water. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, peel off the dark green outer leaves. Cut off the top fourth of the artichoke; peel and trim the stem. Slice the artichoke lengthwise 1/8 inch thick and drop into the lemon water. Repeat with the remaining artichokes.

In a saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic and lardo and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain the artichokes; discard the lemon. Add the artichokes to the saucepan, cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Add the white wine, cover and simmer over moderately low heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water. Add the pasta and the reserved cooking water to the artichokes and toss over moderate heat for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, stir in the 1/4 cup of cheese and season with salt and pepper. Serve the pasta, passing more grated cheese at the table.

All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

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  1. We made this tonight and even my 2-year-old gobbled it up. He was so unsure about the artichokes, though. He held one up and said ‘chicken?’ No honey, not even close.

  2. this sounds amazing! i’ll have to attempt to make it for the bf!

    xo, Katie

  3. GReat recipe. I also added Crushed red pepper flakes to the oil to make it alil spicy!

  4. the recipe totally speaks for itself, but I don’t mean you shouldn’t just babble a bit. that what makes for a fun blog. well, that AND yummy recipes.

  5. Great photo! Love the springy shade of green.

    Carrie– we bought that HUGE jar of marinated artichokes from Costco! My husband likes to snack on them, but my strongest opinion is that they take up a lot of room in the fridge. They’re a tasty addition to salads, but I find the flavor a little too assertive, and the texture a little too soft, to include in cooked recipes.

  6. I just saw this on the cover of Food and Wine magazine and wanted to make it too. I may have to make it after your positive review.

    And its funny – I just started my blog a few weeks ago and I’m trying to find my balance between babbling and writing about the recipe. We’ll just have to wait and see where I land in the end. Maybe if I can get the pictures as good as yours, the recipes can speak for themselves.

  7. This dish looks super refreshing and easy! Thanks for a nice quick dinner.

  8. Ha Ha!
    My husband is the exact same way. My family will devour fresh ones (we live in Santa Cruz about 20 miles from Castroville where a lot of artichokes are grown) but marinated no way. We did find some non marinaded jarred at costco but I have yet to slip them into a recipe. I think I’ll try the one you just did.

  9. This looks fabulous and I’m going to try it. I’m wondering if you’ve tried frozen artichoke hearts? Trader Joes sells a bag for a couple of bucks and I have one in my freezer. I’m wondering if they would be a decent substitute. I’ll probably give it a try-white wine, garlic, pancetta & pasta – how bad could it be?

  10. Looks fantastic! I’m not an artichoke fan either, but maybe I’ll give it a try. And it’s funny. When you first started, your blogs were a few sentences.. When I first started, mine were a few pages. Glad that we’re both getting towards that perfect length!

  11. I’ll admit, I’m also a maker of the “eeew artichoke face”. I don’t think I’ve ever had a fresh one. Now it’s on my to try list. Thanks for sharing!

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