1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
4 cloves garlic
1 cup fresh ricotta (if it's cow's milk ricotta, use Parm later in recipe; if it's sheep's milk, use pecorino)
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
About ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 pound spinach tonnarelli or spaghetti or other long pasta
3 tablespoons EVOO
1 shallot, minced
1 ¼-1 ½ pounds medium- to large-leaf spinach, stemmed (1-pound cleaned weight) and chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Juice of ½ lemon
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino cheese
¼ cup pine nuts , toasted
Warm cream with 2 cloves of crushed garlic in a small pot over low heat.
Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
In a small bowl, mix ricotta with salt and pepper, thyme, nutmeg and lemon zest, then set aside.
Salt boiling water and cook pasta 1 minute less than package directions.
While pasta cooks, heat a large skillet over medium heat with EVOO. Add shallots and stir a minute or two. Grate in the remaining 2 cloves of garlic. Add spinach and wilt into pan. Season with salt, red pepper flakes, a little extra grated nutmeg and lemon juice.
Reserve ½ cup starchy pasta liquid, drain pasta and add to spinach. Add the warm cream and the ricotta mixture and toss to combine for 1 minute, adding grated cheese and reserved water as you go. Top with toasted pine nuts.