Lemon Pasta with Salami, Olives and Roasted Artichokes

This pasta is quick and easy to make, especially if you can find frozen artichoke hearts. It has so many interesting flavors that it keeps you coming back for more.

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Looking straight down on lemon pasta with salami in a white bowl with a place setting and a glass of wine slightly visible.

Quick and Easy Weeknight Pasta

When I’m at a loss for what to make for dinner (it happens!), I often make a pasta. But for me, pasta does not mean spaghetti with marinara sauce (although I do love that). Pasta is just the blank slate for whatever you have in the house that goes nicely together.  That’s exactly what the flavors in this lemon pasta with salami, green olives and roasted artichokes do – they go so nicely together. Throw some Parmesan cheese, lemon zest and juice and arugula into the mix, and you have a pasta that is restaurant worthy.

Ingredients for lemon pasta with salami on a cutting board.

Ingredients for Lemon Pasta

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… your dinner can only be as good as your ingredients. So, make sure you buy good ingredients for this pasta dinner. I use my favorite pepper salami, delicious Casteltravano green olives, real aged Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and frozen artichoke hearts. Frozen artichoke hearts are super easy to work with – just defrost, toss with oil and roast in your oven or air fryer. If you can’t find frozen artichoke hearts, you can use canned or jarred hearts. Just make sure you dry them as well as you can with paper towel before oiling and roasting.

Hands zesting lemon over a hammered stainless steel saute pan with salami, artichokes and olives inside.

Zesting Lemon

Most people zest with a microplane these days, and while that does remove the zest (just the peel and not any of the white pith) from the lemon, the little pieces of lemon zest are so small that they disappear from view. You still get the flavor of lemon, but with a traditional zester (the one in the photo happens to be a part of my 8-piece gadget set) you get pretty strips of lemon that enhances the look of the dish. I go for a traditional zester as often as I can and save the microplane for grating the Parmesan.

Hands juicing a lemon into a saute pan with pasta, parmesan and other ingredients inside.

Juicing Lemon

The same goes for juicing a lemon. I’m always astonished at how expensive a lemon can be in relationship to how quickly you use it up! For that reason, I like to get ALL the juice out of the lemon. The best way to do that is to resort to the traditional tool for the job – a reamer (also a part of my 8-piece gadget set). 

Tongs lifting pasta from a saute pan.

Serving Pasta

I have two tips for you when serving your pasta. First of all, always try to remember to reserve a cup of pasta so that you can thin the pasta as needed. Pasta continues to absorb liquid once it’s out of the pasta water, so having a little extra is always a good idea. Secondly, use a pair of tongs to pick up the spaghetti and then as you put it into the pasta bowl, turn the bowl one way while you turn your tongs in the opposite direction. That will give you a nice high pile of pasta, which is more atractive on the plate (or in the bowl!). 

Two bowls of lemon pasta with salami, olives and artichokes on a table with a pepper mill, white wine, parmesan cheese and grater.

Try it!

Now, if you’ve read this far, you’re probably pretty interested in the recipe and I don’t have to convince you to try it. But… if you’re still on the fence because some of these ingredients are unfamiliar to you, I’m here to implore you to give this lemon pasta with salami a whirl. The combination of these flavors is one of my favorites and if they happen to be new to you then I’ll give you extra bonus points for bravely giving it a try.

Featured Recipe Techniques

More about the skills used in this recipe.

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How to Cook Pasta

Cooking pasta is something that pretty much everyone knows how to cook - boil water, add pasta. However, there are...View Technique

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Lemon Pasta with Salami, Olives and Roasted Artichoke Hearts

  • Prep Time: 10 m
  • Cook Time: 20 m
  • Total Time: 30 m
  • Servings:


  • 6 ounces dried spaghettini (or thin spaghetti)
  • olive oil
  • ½ cup finely diced pepper salami about ¼-inch dice
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 10 green olives Casteltravano are nice
  • 2 cups frozen artichoke hearts thawed and drained
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese grated (about 1 cup), plus more for garnish
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups of arugula


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425˚F and bring a large pot of water to the boil on the stovetop.
  2. Pat the thawed artichoke hearts dry and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and roast at 425˚F until starting to brown (about 15 to 20 minutes). Alternatively, air-fry the artichoke hearts for 15 minutes at 400˚F, flipping them over after the 10 minute mark.
  3. Salt the boiling water and cook the spaghettini as directed until al dente. When it is time to drain the pasta, reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.
  4. Meanwhile, pre-heat a skillet over medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and cook the salami for a few minutes to render out the fat. Add the smashed garlic cloves, olives, roasted artichokes and cook gently for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  5. Add the spaghettini to the skillet with the salami and artichoke hearts and add the lemon zest, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Toss to mix all the ingredients together. Stir in the arugula and season to taste with salt and more lemon juice. Thin the pasta with some of the reserved pasta water as needed.
  6. Serve the pasta warm with more lemon zest as garnish.
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