Cavatelli with Artichokes, Olives & Leeks

cavatelli with artichokes olives leeks
  • 4Servings


  • 1 cup green olives, such as Cerignola
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 box (9 oz.) frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and sliced lengthwise
  • 2 leeks, white and light-green parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest plus about 1/4 cup juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 pound dried or fresh cavatelli
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (a handful), plus more to pass at the table
  • 1/3 cup fresh tarragon (a handful), coarsely chopped
  • EVOO, for drizzling


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

On a work surface, using the flat side of a chef's knife, crush the olives [1]. Pull out the pits [2], then chop the olives [3].

Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high. Add the olive oil, two turns of the pan. Melt the butter into the oil. When the butter foams, add the artichokes and leeks; cook, stirring often, until the leeks soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the thyme, garlic and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper; stir until the garlic softens, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the olives, stock and wine; reduce the heat to low. Let the sauce simmer, stirring often, while the pasta cooks.

Salt the boiling water, add the pasta and cook until almost al dente. Reserve a ladle of the starchy cooking water; drain the pasta. Toss the pasta, cooking water, lemon juice, 1/3 cup cheese and the tarragon with the sauce; season. Drizzle with EVOO. Pass more cheese at the table for topping.

Read now: The Gotta-Know Guide to Olives