Pasta Calabrese with Artichokes

Pasta calabrese with artichokes. It may sound a little unique, but we’re just talking pasta, sausage and artichokes.

It’s incredible.

Pasta Calabrese with Artichokes in white bowl

It’s quite possibly the most delectable and scrumptious thing on the planet.  I mean, as soon as I cook a box of pasta and toss it into the colander, still piping hot, I literally stand over the sink eating noodle after noodle.  

There doesn’t need to be a damn thing on it, it just has to be itself.  Slightly firm but still melt-in-your-mouth.  

You know what I’m saying, and I’m certain you’ve found yourself standing over the sink eating noodles, too.  

Please tell me this is true, otherwise I feel embarrassed that you now know my deepest darkest secret.  

But not really, because you basically already know how nutty I am about these things, so it’s no secret – I just want you to be pasta friends with me, okay?

Rigatoni up close

The best pasta calabrese with artichokes

Wow, anyway.  Let’s forget everything I just said and get to the details of this pasta dish.

Here we have rigatoni (um, cooked al dente) with the most fabulous sauce that is ready, start to finish, in just 10 minutes.  

It starts with olive oil [doesn’t everything?] in a hot skillet, then thinly sliced fennel is added to give that infamous anise flavor, then spicy sausage is tossed in and cooked until the edges are brown and crispy.  

Then we need a large dollop of minced garlic [because, Italian] and chopped artichokes because it can’t be Pasta Calabrese with Artichokes… without artichokes.  

And they’re just delicious, even out of the can.  After adding a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and oregano, the sausage and veggies get hit with some dry white wine and pasta water and finished with half and half.  

The pasta is tossed with the sauce and folded with a handful of Parmesan cheese [because, Italian] and bright and colorful arugula to make a perfectly gorgeous dish.

And you guys, before I move on.  I need to tell you that adding pasta water into the sauce is just the most brilliant thing ever.  Because the water is starchy, it’ll thicken the sauce and make it super-silky and luxurious.  Please try it.

So, how do you feel about this?  Pasta tossed in a light cream sauce with artichokes, fennel and sausage?  

I can tell you that I’m ready to dive in and swim around because it’s. that. good.

Now are you craving pasta??

Pasta Calabrese with Artichokes in white bowl

Isn’t it so cool?  Life can be incredibly gourmet without spending hours in the kitchen.  10 MINUTES is all it takes.


Pasta Calabrese with Artichokes

Easy creamy tubular pasta tossed with sausage, fennel, artichokes, freshly shaved Parmesan and cream.

  • Author: Julie Andrews
  • Prep Time: 10-15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15-20 mins
  • Total Time: 25-35 mins
  • Yield: Serves 6 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove-Top
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • 12-ounces whole wheat rigatoni or other tubular pasta
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 head fennel, fronds and stalks removed, thinly sliced
  • 4-ounces hard Italian sausage, sliced (or 4 ounces ground Italian sausage)
  • 23 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 6-ounce jar artichoke hearts, drained and chopped*
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ dried oregano leaves
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup half and half or cream
  • ½ cup freshly shaved or grated Parmesan
  • ¼ cup baby arugula


  1. Cook rigatoni according to package directions. Reserve pasta water and set pasta aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add sliced fennel and cook 1-2 minutes, until starting to soften. Add sausage and saute 1-2 minutes until it starts to brown, then add garlic and saute 30-60 seconds, until fragrant. Add the artichokes, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and oregano and stir to combine.
  3. Add ¾ cup pasta water and dry white wine. Cook 1-2 minutes, until sauce starts to thicken. Stir in half and half or cream and the cooked pasta.
  4. Fold in the Parmesan cheese and arugula and distribute pasta into bowls. Serve.


Cooking Tip: To make this dish extra delicious, use marinated artichokes and add the marinade to the pasta.


  • Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
  • Calories: 430
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Sodium: 558mg
  • Fat: 17g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 8g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 49g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 16g
  • Cholesterol: 30mg

Keywords: whole wheat, rigatoni, healthy, simple, easy, weeknight dinner, quick

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