Pasta with Peas, Artichokes, Lemon and Mint
Pasta with Peas, Artichokes, Lemon and Mint Erin McDowell

We had a good run, soups and stews. But as temperatures rise and flowers bloom, we’re ready to swap rich and hearty for light and fresh. Take this pasta recipe. We add fresh peas and marinated artichokes to the noodles, then skip the marinara and make a “sauce” using grated cheese and lemon juice. Top it all off with a sprinkling of mint, lemon zest and black pepper, and you’ve got a dish that looks--and tastes--like it took hours, not 30 minutes.

Makes 4 to 6 servings
Start to Finish: 30 minutes


1 pound bucatini, spaghetti or other long pasta

1½ cups fresh peas

12 marinated artichoke heart quarters, drained (available at gourmet grocery stores)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup grated Pecorino cheese

2 tablespoons lemon juice


2 tablespoons freshly chopped mint, for garnish

Lemon zest, for garnish

Freshly ground black pepper, for garnish


1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente, 6 to 8 minutes (or according to package instructions). One minute before the pasta is finished, add the peas to the pot. Before draining, ladle out and reserve ½ cup of the pasta cooking water.

2. Drain the pasta and peas in a colander, and immediately add the artichoke hearts. Toss to combine.

3. Return the pasta and vegetables to the pot, then add the butter and Pecorino cheese, and toss to coat. Add the reserved pasta water and lemon juice, and continue tossing until the mixture forms a creamy coating. Season with salt to taste.

4. To serve, transfer the pasta to plates and top with mint, lemon zest and black pepper. Serve immediately.

Finishing Touches

It's the details that count! Try these tips

  • We used marinated artichokes as a time-saver, but fresh artichokes are in season! If you want to use them in place of the jarred ones, check out these instructions on how to prepare them.

  • We can think of only one way to make this dish better: Top each portion with a fried egg.

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