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Spinach and Artichoke Pasta

Feb 27, 2013 08:06PM ● By Anonymous

This dish is inspired by the classic spinach and artichoke dip. Tender, flavorful spinach is mixed with artichoke hearts and a bit of garlic, then coated in a rich cheese sauce and tossed with al dente pasta. Meatless meals just got a bit more daring.

1 lb. penne pasta
1 bag baby spinach
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 1/2 cup monterey jack cheese, grated
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
6 Tbsp. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2-3 cups half and half
salt and pepper to taste

Boil salted water in a large pot and cook pasta according to package directions. While the pasta cooks, heat a large sauce pan over medium high. Add one tablespoon butter. Once butter has melted, add one clove of garlic. Saute for about 30 seconds until the garlic becomes fragrant. Add in the spinach. Stir, allow the spinach to wilt a bit. Once the spinach has wilted, transfer it to another plate. Heat another tablespoon of butter in the pan and repeat the process with garlic, sauteing until fragrant. Add in the artichoke hearts. Cook for approximately two minutes until the hearts have a bit of a golden color. Transfer to another plate. Heat remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in the same sauce pan. Once melted, add in flour and whisk vigorously until there are no lumps. Slowly add in half and half, whisking continuously to avoid any lumps. Add in cheeses and continue to whisk, allowing the cheese to melt thoroughly. Once pasta has finished cooking, drain. Add pasta to the sauce pan with the cheese mixture and toss well to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 6.