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For our "When Life Gives You Lemons" episode, Milk Street's Christopher Kimball shares his quick and easy, one-pan artichoke and asparagus pasta topped with lemon-mint ricotta from his latest cookbook, Milk Street: The World in a Skillet.
"To make this simple one-skillet pasta dish full of bright, springtime flavors and a pleasing mix of textures, we use store-bought fresh linguine. We cook the pasta in only 3 cups of water; the starch the noodles release as they simmer creates a thickened liquid that's the basis of the sauce. Most jarred marinated artichoke hearts are quartered; if yours are whole or halved, cut them into smaller pieces. Jars come in different sizes, but a 10-ouncer will yield the right amount of drained artichokes for the recipe. Look for asparagus spears that are about as thick as a pencil so they cook to tender-crisp doneness in the right amount of time." –Christopher
Pro Tips from Christopher: Don't forget to cover the skillet after adding the pasta. The lid keeps the heat in the pan so the ingredients cook through properly and without excessive evaporation. After scattering the asparagus over the pasta-artichoke mixture, don't mix it in. It cooks more evenly if left to steam on top.
For more recipes from our "lemons" episode, check out Rachael's Lemon Risotto with Peas and Pea Tendrils and Scampi and Christopher Kimball's Lebanese-Style Spicy Potatoes with Lemon and Cilantro.
In a small bowl, stir together the ricotta, mint, lemon zest and juice, 2 tablespoons oil and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper; set aside.
In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium, cook the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the pancetta, stirring, until the pancetta is crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in 3 cups water and bring to a boil over high. Add the linguine, stirring to separate the noodles. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is just shy of al dente, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the artichoke hearts, then scatter the asparagus over the top. Cover and cook without stirring until the asparagus is tender-crisp and the pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes. Off heat, add half of the pecorino and the butter, then toss until combined and the butter has melted; add more water as needed so the sauce clings lightly to the pasta. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with the ricotta mixture spooned on top and with the remaining pecorino on the side.
Excerpted from Milk Street: The World in a Skillet by Christopher Kimball. Copyright © 2022 by Christopher Kimball. Used with permission by Voracious. All rights reserved.