I’m a big fan of salt and savoriness, so it’s no surprise I love brined things. Brining infuses food with extra flavor and also helps to preserve it, which is why items like marinated artichoke hearts and capers deserve room on your pantry shelves. And while you’re there, grab a box of pasta and some breadcrumbs and you’re ready to cook this recipe.

You’ll start by making some seasoned panko breadcrumbs. Sure, you could use any pre-seasoned breadcrumbs that you might have on hand, but I like to buy plain ones because they are more versatile and then I can season them as I see fit. In this recipe, we toast panko, Italian seasoning and garlic powder in some olive oil until golden. The breadcrumbs add a nice crunchy topping to the pasta, but to be honest, they’re so good I would eat them sprinkled on just about anything.

The sauce for the pasta, if you can call it that, begins with sauteed artichokes and capers. I like nonpareil capers mostly because I think their small size makes them cute, but they also offer the best flavor and texture. Any capers you have around will work in this recipe. Since the artichoke brine is already full of flavor, some of it is added to the pan along with a spoonful of honey, for balance.

You might notice that I didn’t add salt outside of boiling the pasta and a pinch with the breadcrumbs. That’s not a mistake. The artichokes and capers contain plenty of salt already, and I found this recipe to be perfectly seasoned, so be careful about going on autopilot and accidentally ending up with an overly salty dish.

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Pasta With Artichokes, Capers and Toasted Breadcrumbs

20 minutes

2 to 4 servings

This pantry pasta relies on marinated artichokes and capers to pack a briny punch. Some of the brining liquid gets used to help flavor the pasta, and a bit of honey is added to the mixture for balance. Seasoned and toasted panko breadcrumbs make for a delightfully crunchy topping.

Make Ahead: The toasted panko can be prepared and stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

Storage Notes: Leftover pasta can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.


Kosher salt

8 ounces spaghetti, or any other long pasta

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1/2 cup panko or other breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

One (12 ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts

2 tablespoons nonpareil capers, coarsely chopped

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon honey


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the panko, Italian seasoning blend, garlic powder and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until the panko is nicely toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, wipe out the skillet and return it to the stove.

Drain the artichokes, reserving 1/4 cup of the marinating liquid. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet and heat until shimmering. Add the artichokes, capers and black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the artichokes start to brown, about 7 minutes.

Add the honey and reserved artichoke marinating liquid and cook for about 1 minute. Add the drained pasta to the skillet and toss until coated, adding the reserved pasta water, as needed, if the mixture looks too dry. Transfer the pasta to a serving platter or individual bowls, sprinkle with the panko mixture and serve.

Nutrition (based on 4 servings) | Calories: 448; Total Fat: 19 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 521 mg; Carbohydrates: 55 g; Dietary Fiber: 4 g; Sugar: 3 g; Protein: 10 g.

Recipe from Washington Post staff writer Aaron Hutcherson.

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