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Lemon Brown Butter Pasta with Roasted Artichokes and Fennel

Lemon Butter Pasta with Roasted Artichokes and Fennel

  • Author: Ali
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


This lemon brown butter pasta is tossed with roasted artichokes and fennel and sprinkled with the most delicious garlic toasted breadcrumbs.



Pasta Ingredients:

  • 1 large fennel bulb
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans artichoke hearts, drained and halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large lemon, zest and juice (about 34 tablespoons juice)
  • 1 ounce freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound uncooked pappardelle (or your preferred pasta shape)
  • chopped fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Garlicky Breadcrumb Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 large garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ teaspoon each: fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper


  1. Prep the oven and pasta water. Heat the oven to 425°F. Bring a large stockpot of generously-salted water to a boil.
  2. Slice the fennel. Trim off the stalks and flat root base. (You’re welcome to save the fronds for garnish if you would like.) Halve the fennel, then cut into 1/2-inch wedges.
  3. Roast. Add the fennel slices and artichoke hearts to the baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, then gently toss to coat. Season generously with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes. Then turn on the broiler and broil for another 2-4 minutes, keeping a close eye on the fennel and artichokes, until their edges are lightly browned and caramelized. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack.
  4. Cook the garlicky breadcrumbs. While the veggies are roasting, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and stir to combine. Continue sautéing, stirring occasionally, until the Panko reaches a toasted golden brown color. Transfer the breadcrumb mixture to a clean bowl and set aside. Carefully use a paper towel to briefly wipe off any crumbs remaining in the sauté pan, then return the pan to the stove.
  5. Cook the pasta. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until 1 minute shy of al dente.
  6. Brown the butter. While the pasta is cooking, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in the large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Continue cooking until the butter begins to foam, stirring frequently to ensure that the butter cooks evenly. Add a few twists of black pepper and continue cooking the butter, stirring frequently, until it starts to turn golden brown and smells toasty. (Keep a very close eye on the butter so that it does not burn, since it can go from golden to burned very quickly.) 
  7. Finish the brown butter sauce. Using a heat-safe measuring cup, scoop out 1 cup of the starchy pasta water from the stockpot and pour it into the brown butter mixture. (Be careful and pour slowly because it will bubble up furiously.) Let the mixture simmer and reduce for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add in the lemon zest and lemon juice and whisk until combined.
  8. Toss the pasta. Once the pasta is 1 minute shy of al dente, use a spider strainer or tongs to quickly transfer it directly to the brown butter sauce. Add the Parmesan and toss everything together for 1-2 minutes until the pasta is al dente and the sauce is thick and glossy and coats the pasta evenly. (If the sauce seems too dry, just add in an extra 1/4 cup at a time of the remaining starchy pasta water as needed.) Add in the roasted fennel and artichokes and briefly toss to combine. Taste and season with extra salt or black pepper if needed.
  9. Serve. Serve immediately, garnished with the garlicky breadcrumbs and fresh basil. Enjoy!