Sunday, December 20, 2009

Spinach & Artichoke Mac and Cheese

In my usual form I tend to take forever to get around to doing things. I saw this on Rachael Ray one day when I had the ol tube on and it caught my attention.  So months later I decided to give it a whirl for dinner one night and see if it really stands up on its own.  Link to Rachael Ray's Page

I attempted this with the intention of using what I had on the shelf for the most part so some of my quantities (as usual) are a little off from what is spec'd in the recipe. (once again, this is normal for me)

  • Salt
  • 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 

  • I had a couple peppers in the fridge I needed to use so I added 1/2 an orange pepper and 1/2 a green bell
  • I had a small jar of artichokes.  So I just used this rinsed them real good and chopped them up to replace the frozen artichokes I could not find
  • I already had regular penne pasta so I just used it instead of buying the whole wheat

  • Boil Pasta in salted water till done
  • With a medium pot over medium-low heat add the Olive Oil and butter.
  • Add the onion and garlic and cook till soft, 10 min or so.
  • Start Oven with Broiler and rack near the center of the oven.
  • Turn the heat up to medium-high, whisk the flour into the pan, before this burns whisk in the wine, cooking for another minute or two, just long enough to burn off the alcohol. 
  • Whisk the milk into the pan and bring up to a slight boil. 
  • Add the nutmeg, spinach, artichokes, salt and pepper and simmer until it thickens and veggies are warmed through
  • . Add all but 1/2 cup of each of the cheeses
  •   Stir until melted and combined
  • Toss the sauce with the drained pasta
  • Add to baking dish (I used a 13x9 and it fit well)
  • Sprinkle remaining cheese on top
  • I added the sliced peppers here so they would roast and add some pizazz to the presentation
  • Broil until cheese is melted and the top is golden brown 30-40 minutes
Serve as either a side or as a meal of it's own - bon appetit