Looking for a new dinner idea to add to the weekly menu? This spinach artichoke pasta should be on your list. If you love spinach artichoke dip, you will crave this pasta! Completely meat free, rich and satisfying. Dan loved it, Brody slammed it, and Owen received his own dairy-free version on the side. If I can make this with two crazy kids glued to my leg for dinner, you can too!
Break this meal down by utilizing one pan, and one pot only. The spinach and artichoke, cooked separately in one pan, and put to the side. Cook the pasta, set it aside. Use the same pasta pot to create your cheesy sauce. Add everything back into the pasta pot and toss. After making this, it dawned on me how nice it would be to do the artichoke and spinach the night prior, and keep it in the fridge. That way, on a busy night you only have to cook the pasta, and make the sauce, which by the way took less than 10 minutes total to do. Have this for dinner tonight, and enjoy the left overs tomorrow!
- 6 Tbsp butter
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bags baby spinach
- 2 cans artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 3 cups milk (whole or low fat)
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup or less low sodium organic vegetable broth
- 12 oz penne pasta, al dente
- crushed red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
To get the dish moving quickly, start boiling your water for the pasta. Once the water is ready, cook your pasta until al dente. In the meantime, start the spinach and artichokes.
Start with sauteing the spinach in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and garlic. Cook until the spinach has wilted, then set aside, it takes only a few minutes to wilt.
In the same pan, melt an additional 2 tablespoons of butter, and toss in the chopped artichoke hearts. Add a tiny pinch of salt and pepper, and let the artichokes cook until they are slightly golden. Once they are cooked, set them aside as well.
At this point, your pasta should be close to being done. Drain the hot pasta, and set it aside in a dish, drizzle with olive oil to ensure it will not stick together.
In the same pot you boiled your pasta, on medium low heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter, then add the flour, whisking until it combines into a paste. Add 3 cups of milk, continuing to whisk while it warms through (4-5 minutes) Add your cheeses to the milk, 1/2 tsp of salt, a smidge more of pepper, and the cayenne. Stir until the cheeses have melted and your left with a yummy cheese sauce. If it is too thick, add a 1/4 cup of vegetable broth at a time until it is the desired consistency.
Finally, place the pasta into the sauce, add the artichoke hearts, and spinach and toss everything together. Top with crushed red pepper and serve!
Barely adapted from: