Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese

Just about everyone I know loves the party staple, spinach and artichoke dip. It's warm, cheesy, gooey, with just enough green stuff in it to make you feel like it's healthy. Now imagine that dip incorporated into noodles and called dinner. Yep, it's that good.

We both really loved this dish. While I'm sure many would be happy eating just this for a meal, Jason is a man and therefore doesn't think anything without meat is a meal so I served this alongside a smoked whole chicken. Delish!

We liked it so much, and it was so easy to throw together, that I whipped up a batch right before we headed out the door for Christmas with his parents.

If you're still looking for a side to bring to a Christmas gathering, consider this one!

Spinach and Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese
*12-16 ounces macaroni shaped pasta
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup onion, diced (I left out)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup frozen spinach, excess moisture removed and chopped
1/2 cup frozen artichokes, thawed and chopped
2 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup cream cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

*I used ditalini pasta but macaroni, penne, or even rigatoni would work. I eyeballed it and used a little less than a full 1 pound box. 

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta to al dente, according to directions on box. Drain and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil and butter, in a stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat, until the butter is melted. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Next, stir in the spinach and artichoke and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute, then sprinkle in the flour and cook, while stirring, for another minute. Add the cream cheese and stir until mostly melted. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly. Bring to a simmer and cook until the milk starts to thicken, about 2-3 minutes, keep on stirring. Remove the pot from the heat and add the cheese in several increments, waiting until each increment is melted before adding the next. Finally, add the pasta.

If you wanted it to be more reminiscent of the dip, you could top the pasta with extra cheese and bake until the top is bubbly.

Recipe slightly adapted from Sunny Side Up in San Diego

1 comment :

  1. As soon as I saw this on SSUiSD I wanted to make it but my husband doesn't like artichokes. Now I want it again. :) Looks delicious.


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