Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spinach and Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese

I combined two of my favorite recipes: Spinach and Artichoke Dip and Macaroni and Cheese.  Hope you enjoy this recipe!

1 lb any short cut pasta (rigatoni, penne, elbows)
4 tablespoons olive oil or butter
4 tablespoons flour
4 oz frozen spinach
4 oz frozen or canned artichoke hearts
2 cups white cheddar cheese, shredded
4 tablespoons parmesan cheese
2 cups milk
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Boil a pot of water and salt.  Cook pasta in the water for 8-10 minutes. 
Drain and set aside.

In a small pot, melt the butter or oil.  Saute the onions and garlic until tender.  Then add the flour and whisk until a paste forms.  Slowly add the milk.  Whisk until no clumps remain.  Allow to thicken for 7-8 minutes. 

Defrost the spinach and artichoke hearts.  If spinach is frozen, squeeze out all of the water.  Chop the artichoke hearts into bite sized pieces. 

Once the sauce has thickened.  Stir in 1 3/4 cups of cheddar, and the 4 tablespoons of parmesan.  Add the spinach and artichoke hearts and stir.  Then add a pinch of salt and pepper. 

Grease a baking dish with cooking spray.  Add a layer of the spinach and artichoke sauce.  Then add all of the pasta.  Add the rest of the sauce and stir until every noodle is coated.  Sprinle with remaining cheddar cheese.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.  Enjoy!

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