Artichokes, ricotta, lemon, and herbs combine for a quick and elegant pesto. Toss it with pasta for an easy meal, or nix the pasta and cooking water to serve it as a dip with crackers.
What to buy: To avoid strange flavor combinations, look for canned artichoke hearts that aren’t seasoned (i.e., that are packed in water, not oil and herbs).
Store-bought ricotta cheese is fine to use, or you could make your own.
Any kind of short, tubular pasta or other small, shaped pasta will work in this dish. We especially like it with rigatoni.
Game plan: You can make the pesto in advance—just pull it out of the refrigerator and give it a quick stir right before you serve it. It will stay fresh, covered and refrigerated, for 1 week.
This recipe was featured as part of our Easy Weeknight Dinners recipe slideshow.
Beverage pairing: Hirsch Grüner Veltliner #1, Austria. They say artichokes are hard on wines, but Grüner always seems to do the trick. It packs its own lemon, mineral, and green herb flavors and a lot of sunny acidity to keep things lively.