Artichoke & Spinach Penne with Breadcrumbs

Artichoke & Spinach Penne with Breadcrumbs
  • 4Servings


  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 box (10 to 12 oz.) frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, or 1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained, or 1 vacuum-sealed pouch (12 oz.) artichoke hearts or grilled artichoke hearts
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • About 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • Salt and finely ground black or white pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 bag (16 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • Freshly grated or ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup coarse homemade breadcrumbs or panko
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 1/2- 2 cups grated Grano Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 pound penne rigate


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil, two turns of the pan, over medium to medium-high. Melt the butter into the oil, then add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the artichokes and garlic; stir until the garlic softens and the artichokes are lightly browned around the edges, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon zest; season with salt and pepper. Stir in the wine and cook, stirring often, until evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cream; bring to a bubble. Wrap the spinach in a kitchen towel and squeeze out any extra liquid. Break up the spinach with your fingers; add to the sauce. Cook until hot and thickened, about a minute. Season the sauce with nutmeg.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat the remaining 4 tbsp. oil, four turns of the pan, over medium to medium-high. Add the breadcrumbs and granulated garlic; season. Cook, stirring often, until toasted and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Mix in half the cheese, and the parsley and thyme.

Salt the boiling water, add the penne and cook to al dente. Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup pasta cooking water to the sauce; drain the pasta.

Stir the remaining cheese into the sauce, then mix in the pasta. Serve in shallow bowls topped with the breadcrumbs.