Monday, 16 July 2012

Spinach and Artichoke Mac n Cheese

A little bit ago, I mentioned that the boyfriend had happened upon a fantastic collection of cookbooks that someone had thrown away. We were both so excited about it and spent many hours looking through all the new recipes we had to choose from. Let me tell you, these cookbooks did not disappoint, and are FILLED with amazing new recipes. It was a little overwhelming and I didn't even know where to begin! I wanted to make everything!

This recipe comes from one of those books, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I needed to make it right away.

The book is actually a Rachael Ray cookbook, and while I do know of her, I have never seen any of her cooking shows. I don't really watch a lot of cooking shows very often, I just prefer to do my own thing and make what I want to make.

The book has tons of great food pictures and has a variety of interesting and new recipes to try. This book was one of my favorites from all the books we found and I'm sure I'll be making many more recipes from it in the future.

The reason this recipe caught my eye is because it was basically a combination of two of my favorite foods. Spinach and Artichoke Dip is my standby appetizer, and if we are at a restaurant and it's on the menu, I will always order it.

I haven't met a spinach & artichoke dip I didn't like. Ever.

Mix that with mac & cheese, a classic dish that I have already made on here twice (here & here) and you have one extra delicious dish!

The pasta turned out to be super cheesy and the spinach and artichoke added an extra level of flavors that worked really well. I will say that this recipes makes a TON of pasta so if you're only making the recipe for a few people, and don't want to be stuck with tons of leftovers, you may want to reduce the recipe a bit.

Last Month: Parmesan Toasts

Spinach and Artichoke Mac n Cheese
Cook Time: 17-20mins        Yields 6-8 servings
Salt, to taste
1 lb penne pasta
2 Tbsps olive oil
3 Tbsps butter
1 med. onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 Tbsps flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups whole milk
1/4 tsp nutmeg
10 oz artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed, and chopped
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and wrung dry
Black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups fontina cheese (plus more for sprinkling on top), shredded
1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese (plus more for sprinkling on top), grated

1) Preheat the broiler.
2) In a large pot of lightly salted water, bring pasta to a boil and cook until al dente. While the pasta cooks, in a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter and olive oil together.
3) Add the onions and garlic to the skillet and cook until very soft, about 10 minutes.
4) Increase the heat under skillet to medium-high and add the flour. Cook for about a minute, then whisk in the wine. Cook for another minute to burn off the alcohol. Add milk and bring mixture to a bubble.
5) Add the nutmeg, artichokes, spinach, salt and pepper, and simmer until the sauce has thickened and the vegetables are warmed, about 2-3 minutes. Add one cup of each type of cheese to the sauce and stir until cheese is melted.
6) Toss the sauce with the cooked pasta and transfer to a casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese and place in the broiler until the top is brown, about 3 minutes. Serve warm.

(Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray's Look+Cook)

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