Creamy Artichoke Pasta Recipe is a tasty and light pasta dish typical of Roman cuisine. Made from scratch, strictly with fresh artichokes, it’s ready in just half an hour!
You can also prepare its creamy artichoke sauce a few days ahead of time and, at the convenient moment, cook the pasta and season with it!
Cook the artichokes in a pan where they form a tasty and creamy sauce in which to mix the pasta with parmigiano, pecorino and mint!
The result is a creamy and tasty Roman style Artichoke Pasta! The ingredients are the same as the famous Carciofi alla Romana and the creaminess is the same as Cacio e Pepe pasta. This recipe is basically the combination of two great Roman dishes!
This is an easy recipe, perfect from winter to spring when artichokes are in full season and therefore more tender and flavorful.
Let’s find out how to make this Creamy Artichoke Pasta Recipe. Follow the recipe step by step and read the tips that will help you get a really perfect result and impress your guests!
How to Make Creamy Artichoke Pasta Recipe
- Prep Time: 20 Min
- Cook Time: 20 Min
- Servings: 4
- 360 g (3 1/2 cups) of Fusilli or the pasta you like best (farfalle, macaroni, penne or spaghetti, to name a few)
- 5 fresh artichokes
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 5 g (2 tablespoons) of chopped fresh mint
- 5 g (2 tablespoons) of chopped fresh parsley
- 30 g (2 tablespoons) of Pecorino Romano
- 30 g (2 tablespoons ) of Parmigiano Reggiano
- half lemon
- freshly ground black pepper
- a pinch of fine salt
- 6 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kitchen Tools and Equipment
If you have chosen a variety of artichokes with thorns, we recommend using sturdy gloves, such as gardening gloves, to clean them.
Next you’ll need a non-stick pan to stew the artichokes in.
And a pot with a colander to boil then drain the pasta. Very useful for draining the pasta and transferring it directly into the pan with the artichoke sauce, it’s a convenient silicone pasta fork for long pasta and a large draining spoon or a spider skimmer ladle for short pasta.
How to Clean Fresh Artichokes
Step 1) – For this recipe, use only the hearts of the artichokes, so first you need to clean them. Cut off the stem at the bottom of the artichoke. Remove the outer, tougher leaves then cut off the tips.
Step 2) -Now cut the artichokes in half and then in half again. With a sharp pointed knife remove the inner part full of filaments and thorns.
Prepare a bowl with a little water and squeeze in the juice of half a lemon. As the artichoke slices are ready, dip them in the acidic water. The lemon juice prevents the artichokes from oxidizing and becoming darker.
Step 3) – You can also use the first 8-10 cm (3/4 inch) of the stem. Let’s remove the outer, tough part of the stem with a vegetable peeler and slice them to about 1 cm (about 1/2 inch) thick. Let’s put them in acidulated water as well.
How to Make Creamy Artichoke Pasta
Step 4) – In a non-stick pan, sauté garlic cloves in extra virgin olive oil.
We left the garlic cloves whole so you can remove them before serving. If you prefer though, you can chop them.
Drain the artichokes and add them to the pan. Cook on high heat for a couple of minutes.
Step 5) – Then lower the heat, add two tablespoons of acidulated water (the water with lemon in which you left the artichokes), a pinch of fine salt and a sprinkling of black pepper.
Cook over medium heat, with lid, for about 10 minutes.
Step 6) – Now remove the garlic cloves and salt if necessary. Check the cooking of the artichokes: they should be soft but whole, not too soft to flake. Turn off the heat, add the parsley and chopped mint leaves and set aside.
Step 7) – Place about 1/3 of the cooked artichokes in a blender, blend them and set aside.
Step 8) – Boil the pasta in salted water. After about 6 minutes, remove about two ladles of cooking water and set aside.
Step 9) – Drain the pasta with the help of a slotted spoon. Place the fusilli directly into the pan with the artichokes. Add a little of cooking water. Finish cooking the pasta over high heat with the artichokes for a few minutes, stirring often.
PAY ATTENTION: check the pasta cooking time on the package. If the pasta cooks in 10 minutes, for example, that’s 6 minutes in salted water and 4 minutes in the pan with the artichokes.
Step 10) – Now turn off the heat and add the previously blended artichoke cream. Stir then add the grated parmigiano and pecorino cheese.
Step 11) – Add a tiny bit more of the cooking water to make it soft. Mix very well and serve on a plate.
Serve the creamy artichoke pasta hot, freshly made. You can decorate the dish with chopped parsley, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a few thin slivers of parmesan cheese.
You can store the artichoke pasta for up to 1 day in the refrigerator in an airtight food container.
The artichoke sauce can also be made a day or two ahead and stored in the refrigerator, but without the cheeses. Add the grated cheeses when topping the pasta, before serving.
You can also freeze fresh artichoke sauce (without the cheeses). Thaw in the refrigerator a day before, add the cheeses and dress the pasta.
How to Make Artichoke Pasta Creamier?
Making artichoke pasta is easy. The only difficulty is making it creamy! In this regard, the final step is essential: finish cooking the pasta in the pan with the artichoke sauce.
This way, the artichokes will bind to the pasta with a delicious cream.
Using the pasta cooking water is essential for creaminess. The starch in it helps the artichoke pasta sauce become creamy.
We heightened the creaminess of the dish by blending about 1/3 of the artichoke sauce, creating a very nice play of textures between the whole and blended artichokes.
Finally, the recipe also calls for the addition of two grated cheeses: pecorino romano and parmigiano reggiano.
Mix them, WITH THE HEAT OFF, with the artichoke sauce, the pasta and another little bit of pasta cooking water. This method is the same used to make the cream of the Cacio e Pepe recipe.
If you follow these tips, you’ll get a thick and creamy artichoke pasta sauce that perfectly envelops your fusilli!
Creamy Vegetarian Artichoke Pasta Sauce
To make the vegetarian version of this Italian recipe, you can certainly remove the parmigiano and pecorino cheese from the ingredients without losing the creaminess of the dish.
In fact, the use of the starch-rich cooking water along with the oil and the blended part of the artichokes will make the dish creamy without the addition of other ingredients.
As an alternative, you can also blend all the artichokes and dress the pasta only with the artichoke sauce thus obtained.
On the contrary, you can leave all the artichokes whole, without blending them, with the addition of this ingredient: you can mix about 60 g (4 tablespoons) of fresh ricotta cheese with a dash of oil in a cup and then mix it with the whole artichoke pasta sauce.
For an extra touch of flavor, you can add some grated ricotta salata on top instead of parmigiano cheese before serving.
What Kind of Artichoke to Use?
This is an easy recipe to make, perfect from winter to spring when artichokes are in full season and therefore more tender and flavorful.
It’s essential, for the success of this recipe, to use fresh artichokes.
You can use any fresh artichoke you have on hand: Green Globe, Spinoso Sardo, Romaneschi or any other variety.
The important thing is to clean them carefully, removing the tougher outer leaves and only getting the tender hearts and the tender part of the stem.
Fresh artichokes have a particular flavor that cannot be found in frozen artichokes, canned artichokes or artichokes in oil.
In particular, artichokes in oil are best suited for summer pasta salads or for garnishing pizza or for sandwiches.
What Pasta is Best for Creamy Artichokes Pasta?
There is no particular type of pasta for this recipe. You can choose the type of pasta you prefer, long or short.
The important thing is that it’s of good quality and bronze drawn with a rough surface. This is to better retain the sauce.
We have chosen fusilli which, with their spiral shape, hold the creaminess of the sauce better.
Long pasta such as spaghetti or fettuccine are also perfect for this recipe.
Creamy Artichoke Pasta Recipe: Some Variants
In this classic creamy pasta with artichokes recipe, the artichoke is the real protagonist of the dish and its flavor is certainly enhanced.
However, you can also consider this simple recipe as a starting point to experiment with many other variations and make it richer and tastier.
You can add just one more ingredient to the artichoke pasta sauce and have a completely new and tasty dish!
Pasta with Artichokes Ligurian Style
A vegetarian regional variant is pasta and artichokes Ligurian style.
This recipe combines the taste of artichokes with that of mushrooms, in a sauce enriched with cherry tomatoes and aromatic herbs, without adding cheese.
Pasta with Artichokes and Sundried Tomatoes
This is a very tasty, rich variant, very common in Sicily and Puglia.
Soak a handful of sun-dried tomatoes in warm water, squeeze, chop roughly then cook them together with the artichokes. If you like, you can also add some chopped green olives.
Pasta with Artichokes and Sausage
Another very frequent matching, especially in the Sardinian tradition, is the one with sausage.
Fregola – a typical Sardinian pasta – with artichokes, sausage and plenty of Sardinian pecorino cheese, is a very tasty and rich traditional recipe. It can certainly be considered a very nutritious one-pot meal.
Artichoke Pasta and Guanciale
In the Roman tradition, in addition to the classic recipe that we have shown you, there is a similar recipe that wants the addition of Guanciale or Pancetta. These ingredients are a must in many Roman recipes!
Pasta with Artichokes and Shrimp
Another very common and unquestionably delicious variant is Pasta with Artichokes and Shrimp. The combination of fresh and slightly bitter artichokes with the sweetness of the shellfish is really amazing!