Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese

I'm really happy I let my friend Brenda, from Brenda's Canadian Kitchen, convince me to buy Rachael Rays new Cook & Look, cookbook. After seeing her post several great looking recipes on her blog, I decided I needed to get the cookbook too. I have several RR cookbooks, but I must say, this is her best one yet. Not too out there with her ingredients and the recipes are more my style of cooking.


This recipe is one of the many I've marked to try. I mean pasta, cheese, spinach and artichokes all in one dish. Who could resist?

Well, Queenie can, but I'm not giving up on here yet, LOL.
I'm sure some of you are saying to yourself, it's mac and cheese, with spinach and artichoke.... big deal. But you are so wrong!! The creamy cheese paired with the slightly bitter spinach and artichoke pieces is wonderful. It's even good reheated the next day and even the day after that, LOL. My mother in law was over the moon for this. She loves spinach and artichokes. Even Hubby, my meat eater, said this was super good. I'm just glad to get some sort of veggies into him, any way I can. I did use a mixture of mozzarella and fontina cheeses, since the fontina was a little pricey and we like a lot of cheese.

Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese
courtesy of Rachael Ray
printable version

1 pound semolina or whole wheat penne
2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups milk
Freshly grated nutmeg, about 1/4 teaspoon or to taste
1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and wrung dry in a kitchen towel
1 10-ounce box frozen chopped artichokes, defrosted and wrung dry in a kitchen towel
Black pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded Italian Fontina cheese, plus additional for sprinkling on top 1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus additional for sprinkling on top

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta, salt water and cook pasta to al dente.

While the pasta water comes to a boil, place a medium pot over medium-low heat with 2turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons, and the butter. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook the veggies until very soft, about 10 minutes. Then heat the broiler and position rack in the middle of the oven.

Turn the heat up to medium-high and sprinkle the flour into the pan. Cook for about 1minute then whisk the wine into the pan, cooking for another minute to burn off the alcohol. Whisk the milk into the pan and bring up to a bubble. Add the nutmeg, spinach, artichokes, salt and pepper to the sauce and simmer until thickened and vegetables are warmed through, 2-3 minutes more. Add 1 cup of each of the cheeses to the sauce and stir until melted.

Toss the prepared sauce with the cooked pasta and transfer to a casserole dish.

Sprinkle some more Fontina and Parmigiano over the top and bake until the cheese has melted and the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Cindy's notes: I used tri-colored fusili, instead of WW pasta. I also used a mixture of fontina and mozzarella cheese, since fontina was so expensive. I used 2 cans of artichokes in water, rather than frozen, since I couldn't find any.

This post linked to
Tasty Tuesday (33 Shades of Green)


Michelle @ On and Off My Plate said...

Oh my gosh....ooey, gooey and with artichokes...YUM!

Judy said...

You had me at spinach and artichokes and then I saw white wine and I postively swooned. Gonna try this one.

Twingle Mommy said...

Oh my goodness, this sounds sooooo good. Found you on blog hop.

alissa said...

Oh my - this sound so good! Definitely my kind of meal. Spinach + Artichokes + Cheese? Yes, please! Thanks for sharing and linking up!

Erin @ EKat's Kitchen said...

This sounds great! I love spinach and artichoke anything! Great post!

RSA Online said...

I love pretty much every spinach & cheese combination, but this one, this one is the king of them all.

Miz Helen said...

I think I might have a piece of heaven with this Mac N Cheese. Your presentation invites me to just come through this screen and have a big bite. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and please come back!

Lori@Paisley Passions said...

WOW! That looks absolutely DIVINE!!! Thanks for linking up to Fun w/Food Friday @ Paisley Passions. Hope you stop by again soon :)

~Lori @ Paisley Passions

Brenda said...

Cindy, how did I miss this??? OMG, does that ever look good. We would all go crazy for this mac and cheese. I'll have to make it when my daughter is coming over for supper as she's a mac and cheese freak. YUM!!!!

Ruth Daniels said...

Mac 'n Cheese AND spinach artichoke dip all in one! How clever and how delicious. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. www.prestopastanights.com

Claudia said...

We love mac 'n cheese, and all its variations. Yours sounds great with the artichoke hearts and spinach, sneaking those veggies in.