- 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.