Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Spinach Artichoke Mac and Cheese

So this is not a great picture, but this is one of my most favorite meals ever!! I only make it like twice a year because I could seriously eat the entire dish by myself. Maybe I'll make it 3 times this year:)
Spinach Artichoke Mac and Cheese

1 lb regular or whole wheat penne pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 lg onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 cups milk
a few grates of nutmeg
1 box (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and wrung dry in a kitchen towel
1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
1/2 cup fonita cheese, grated
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated, plus more for top
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated, plus more for top.

Preheat oven to 350*. Place a large pot of water over high heat to boil. When water is boiling, salt it well and drop in the pasta. Cook to al dente according to package directions. Drain pasta and reserve.
While pasta is cooking, place a med pot or skillet over med-low heat. Heat olive oil and 2 tbsp butter in pot to heat and melt. Add the onion and garlic to pan and cook veggies until very soft, about 10 minutes.
Turn the heat up to med-high and sprinkle the flour into the pan. Cook for about 1 minute then whisk stock into the pan. Whisk in the milk and bring to a bubble. Add the nutmeg, spinach, artichokes, some salt and pepper to the sauce and simmer until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Add cheeses to the sauce and stir with a wooden spoon until melted.
Toss the prepared sauce with the cooked pasta and transfer to a casserole dish. Sprinkle with additional cheese and bake until cheese has melted and the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Serves 4-6

*You can play around with some different cheeses with this dish. Try all mozzarella or some provolone instead of fontina. Get creative!

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