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Penne with Artichoke Hearts (Penne al carciofi)
G. Franco Romagnoli
“Artichokes, ricotta cheese and lemon juice and zest form the sauce for this quick pasta dish.”
1 9-ounce package frozen artichoke hearts
10 ounces whole-wheat penne, or rigatoni
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1½ teaspoons chopped fresh oregano, or ½ teaspoon dried
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
¼ cup water
¼ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup fat-free ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
1Blanch artichokes in lightly salted water for 1 minute; drain well. When cool enough to handle, slice about two-thirds of the artichokes into small wedges and set aside; finely chop the remaining artichokes into a paste and set aside.
2Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions.
3While the pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add oregano, salt and a generous grinding of pepper. Stir in water and cook until the water has evaporated and the onions are limp, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, stir in wine, lemon juice and the reserved artichoke wedges and chopped artichokes. Simmer, stirring, until heated through, about 1 minute. (If the mixture becomes dry, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water.) Add ricotta and stir until creamy.
4When the pasta is ready, drain and add to the pan with the simmering sauce; toss well. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.