This recipe was advertised by Bon Appetit as “A Pasta for Lovers”, and with Valentine’s Day not so long ago (my flowers are miraculously still in bloom) and its development by the brilliant Smitten Kitchen (who captures my heart weekly with her deliciously stunning and witty posts), you would think that this recipe was destined for an ultra-romantic candlelit dinner for two. But since Andreas has an aversion to artichokes and was out of town this weekend (with his magic camera that makes my food look tasty), this “Pasta for Lovers” became pasta for ONE instead. But love was still in the air, as I fell madly for this pasta before I even tasted it, and if you had been in my kitchen smelling the butter as it browned, the onions as they caramelized and melded with a glass of white wine, and the indulgent amount of dairy products as they melted and oozed, you would most certainly be in love too.
The filling is relatively light, but made complex through the little details of browned butter, caramelized onions, parmesan and pecorino, and the texture of artichokes, and the flavors only got better the second day. Each shell is nestled and smothered with a light bechamel sauce strengthened by creamy ricotta and a lemony finish for the most delightful and romantic meal I’ve ever cooked for myself.