baked pasta with artichokes, greens, and too much cheese

Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows my love for pasta. My pantry consistently overflows with spaghetti and orecchiette and bucatini and rigatoni. My best friend made me a beaded bracelet declaring my love for it. Last summer, I ate pasta at least once a day for two months and still wanted to eat it when I returned home. 

And yet, I'm particular about what goes into it. I'm certainly a creature of habit. Cacio e pepe, aglio e olio, carbonara, butter-roasted tomato sauce. These are my main players, and I rarely stray from them. I don't need fennel fronds or cannellini beans or wilted Swiss chard in my pasta. The basic dishes that require technique, the techniques I have perfected after lots of imperfect pasta— those are the most delicious to me. Those dishes are the reason I love pasta so much.

But here's the thing. I really like artichokes. I was intrigued by this dish in Dining In (I was certainly drawn in by the intoxicating phrase "too much cheese") and spent yesterday afternoon putting it together while watching The Assassination of Gianni Versace (you gotta watch!). Alison Roman describes this as basically a spinach-artichoke dip in pasta form, and it does not disappoint. These photos are before it was baked, but you can see the components. I used only kale instead of spinach and kale because I need to slowly ease into the pasta and greens life. If/when I make this again, I'll probably want to prepare a little more of each component so i can make a layered lasagna dish. This only ended up being two layers— but it's still very satisfying. Before assembly, I was eating the Parmesan ricotta mixture with a spoon like an animal. It's really a yummy dish, introducing me to what can be possible when you expand your pasta horizons!

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- Sophie