Goat Cheese Pasta With Spinach and Artichokes
Note: If you’re hesitant about goat cheese, try this pasta and give it a chance. Buy goat cheese in the log form, which is creamier than pre-crumbled. From “Two Peas & Their Pod Cookbook,” by Maria Lichty.
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 8 oz. dried orecchiette or your favorite short pasta
• 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 tbsp. minced shallot
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
• Grated zest of 1 lemon
• 6 c. packed fresh spinach leaves
• 1 (14-oz.) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
• 5 oz. (1 small log) goat cheese (see Note)
• 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)
• 3 tbsp. chopped fresh basil, for garnish
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Generously salt the water and cook the pasta according to package directions until just tender. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the pepper flakes and zest, along with the spinach. Cook until the spinach wilts, about 3 minutes. Stir in the artichoke hearts.
Add the pasta to the spinach and artichoke mixture. Crumble the goat cheese over the top and stir in the lemon juice along with 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water. Continue stirring until a creamy sauce coats the pasta. If the pasta isn’t creamy enough, add additional pasta water.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with fresh basil.