Thyme, used sparingly, is beautifully aromatic, and here it's complemented by the creaminess of the mascarpone. A little crispy bacon or pancetta would be a lovely addition, if you have some in the fridge already.
Artichoke, Lemon & Thyme Pasta (serves 2 hungry people)
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
You will need:
- 300g pasta - something robust is best (I used rigatoni)
- Salt for the pasta water
- A glug of white wine
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- A bunch of fresh thyme
- 400g can of artichoke hearts in water, each one cut in half
- 4-5 heaped tbsp mascarpone
- Salt and pepper to taste
- A pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
- Some grated parmesan or grana padano
- More fresh thyme
- Pine nuts
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until it's done as you like it. Drain and set aside, keeping about 4 tablespoons of the cooking water in the pan.
- Make the sauce in the pan you cooked the pasta in. Put the cooking water you kept back on the heat, and add a good splash of wine. Bring to a simmer, add the lemon juice and zest, garlic, thyme (I used the leaves of about 6 or 7 sprigs - chuck away the stalks), and artichoke hearts. Simmer gently for a couple of minutes before stirring in the mascarpone, then add salt, pepper, and chilli flakes to taste.
- Add the cooked pasta to the sauce, grate in a little parmesan, and mix well. Serve immediately, garnished with more thyme and some pine nuts.