Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spinach and Artichoke Pasta Bake

Think 'spinach and artichoke dip in pasta form'...where do I sign up?? The original posting of this recipe calls for tortellini, but I figure what the hay...If Ive got them that's fantastic...If not I'm sure ravioli or even any type of shaped pasta would be marvelous in this dish.

To make it a little lighter you can use fat free milk, reduced fat cheeses, and choose a non cheese filled pasta.

Spinach Artichoke Pasta Bake

Serves 6

2 pounds fresh or frozen ricotta-filled tortellini, ravioli, or any shaped pasta
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups milk
a few grates fresh nutmeg (or for us lazy's 1 shake of McCormicks)
1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and excess water squeezed out
1 13.75 oz can artichoke hearts, or 1 10-ounce box frozen quartered artichoke hearts, defrosted
ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese (I usually don't have this on hand...I'm sure it doesn't make a big difference if you skip it)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan - Romano
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

Preheat broiler.

Place a large pot of water over high heat to boil. Once boiling, salt the water and drop the pasta in. Cook to al dente according to package directions. Drain cooked pasta and reserve.

While the pasta is working, place a large skillet over medium-high heat with the butter. Cook the garlic in the butter until aromatic, about 1 minute, then sprinkle the flour over the butter and cook for another minute. Whisk the milk into the roux and bring up to a bubble to thicken. Add nutmeg, spinach, artichoke hearts, salt and pepper, and cook until the veggies are heated through.

Add the reserved pasta to the skillet and toss to coat. Transfer everything to a large casserole dish and sprinkle with the cheeses. Place under the broiler to brown, about a minute.

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