Not long ago, I made a meal (this fantastic baked ziti) for a friend who just had a baby. Several people did this for me when Amelia was born, and I like to pay it forward. Having a newborn is a hard gig! However, I am still a little sleep deprived myself, so while I was making the ricotta cheese for two batches of baked ziti, I had a math fail. Long story short, I ended up with twice as much ricotta as I actually needed.
But, hey, that’s definitely not a bad problem to have. I pondered what to do with the extra, and landed on a quick and easy meal of spinach and artichoke pasta. Since we have plenty of spinach growing in our garden these days, it was easy to pop outside and pick some, sauté it, combine it with some chopped marinated artichoke hearts, the ricotta and a little cream, and toss it with pasta. Voila! Dinner is served.
I do like my pasta pretty saucy, and this is no exception — so if you like yours with more pasta than other stuff, well, just make more pasta.
- 8 oz spaghetti or angel hair pasta
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 cups fresh spinach, chopped roughly
- 1 12-oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
- 8 oz ricotta cheese, preferably homemade (recipe follows)
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Cook pasta until al dente.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted.
- Lower the heat and add the artichoke hearts, ricotta cheese (breaking into smaller chunks with spoon) and cream. Stir over low heat until warm, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in the pasta. Serve warm topped with parmesan cheese, if desired.
- 4 cups whole milk (preferably organic, pastured milk)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- Fold a length of cheesecloth so that it's four sheets thick, and set it in a colander in the sink.
- Bring the milk, buttermilk and cream to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Keep watch over the mixture, stirring occasionally, until you see the curds start to separate. When this happens, turn off the heat and use a slotted spoon to scoop the curds into the cheesecloth-lined colander. Keep scooping under all you've got left is a light-yellowish liquid (whey).
- Sprinkle the cheese with a little kosher salt and let it drain for about 5 minutes. Use immediately, or store in the fridge in an airtight container.