If you have time, let the artichokes sit out for 10 minutes or so to partially defrost. If you don’t have time, then they will take just a few minutes longer to heat all the way through in the skillet.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 3/4 pound medium shaped pasta, such as penne, medium shells, lumache, or fusilli
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 (12-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, partially thawed if time allows (See Recipe Note)
- 3 ounces (3 packed cups) baby spinach
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
1 Make the breadcrumb topping: In a small skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the breadcrumbs and chopped almonds, and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until brown and crisp. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste. Set aside.
2 Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. (Check the package for recommended cooking time and cook one minute less.)
Scoop out and set aside 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta in a colander.
3 While the pasta cooks, cook the artichokes: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the artichokes and stir and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Stir in the spinach and cook for another 30 seconds, or until it has wilted very slightly. Stir in the lemon zest and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Taste and add additional salt if needed.
4 Toss the pasta with the artichokes: Add the drained pasta to the skillet with the artichokes. Add the Parmesan and lemon juice, and toss to combine. Dollop the ricotta over the pasta by the spoonful. Toss together. If the pasta seems dry, add a little of the pasta cooking water. Taste and add salt and freshly ground black pepper.
5 Serve the pasta: Divide the pasta among 4 bowls and top with the toasted breadcrumbs and almonds. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.