This super-simple dinner is what I call a “last day before grocery shopping” pasta. The Calabrian chile paste brings heat and sweetness to the dish but the ricotta mellows it out for young palates. A glass of milk helps too. —Samantha Seneviratne
Calabrian chile paste (or to taste, depending on your family)
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving
Whole milk ricotta cheese, for serving
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions. Once cooked, drain and set aside, reserving at least a cup of pasta water for later.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter until it foams. Add the breadcrumbs and toast until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and put the skillet back on the heat.
To the skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of butter and let it melt and foam. Add the scallions and garlic and cook until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt, then add the lemon zest and a teaspoon (or more!) of the Calabrian chile paste. Stir to combine and cook for just a minute longer.
Add the reserved cooked pasta to the scallion mixture and cook over low to combine, splashing in a bit of pasta water as necessary to help the scallions get jammy and cover the pasta evenly. Shower with Parmigiano-Reggiano and let melt slightly to become a saucy texture.
Divide the pasta into two bowls and serve topped with a dollop of ricotta, more Parmigiano-Reggiano, and the toasted breadcrumbs.