Dinner Tonight: Artichoke, Olive, and Lemon Pasta

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

I've never been a fan of pasta salad, a ubiquitous side dish at picnics and potlucks. Why serve pasta at room temperature with a bunch of random vegetables and dressing? That's what lettuce is for. I like pasta to be hot, substantial, and the main event. Not a dainty side dish.

So it was rather surprising that while eating this dish, courtesy of Nigel Slater, I not only loved how it tasted but could not stop thinking about how much it reminded me of a fancified pasta salad. It's not served cold, but it could be: Wide noodles are layered together with preserved artichokes, shards of Parmesan, and briney green olives; the zest and juice of a lemon and a drizzle of olive oil bind it all together. It's substantial enough to be a light dinner but would also be marvelous next to a piece of grilled fish or chicken—or anywhere the bright flavor of citrus is welcome.

Artichoke, Olive, and Lemon Pasta

About the author: Blake Royer founded The Paupered Chef with Nick Kindelsperger, where he writes about food and occasional travels. After a year in Estonia, he's now living in Chicago.

Dinner Tonight: Artichoke, Olive, and Lemon Pasta

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About This Recipe

Yield:2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound cappaletti or other wide, flat pasta
  • 8 ounces jarred halved artichokes
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup roughly torn parsley
  • 1/4 cup green olives, pitted and halved
  • Parmesan to taste

Procedures

  1. 1

    Bring a large pot of salty water to boil. Cook the pasta until just al dente.

  2. 2

    In the meantime, slice the artichokes into fat pieces and put them into a shallow serving bowl. Add the lemon zest and juice, then season with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Add the olive oil, parsley leaves, and olives, and fold the ingredients together carefully.

  3. 3

    When the pasta is cooked, drain it and add to the serving bowl. Toss with the ingredients and some grated Parmesan. Top with more shaved Parmesan and serve.

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