Sunday, February 21, 2010

Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese

I saw this recipe on Rachael Ray's top downloaded recipes of 2009 episode. I think I like her Italian Mac and Cheese better, but this was also really tasty.

Salt
1 pound semolina or whole wheat penne (I used the rotini I had on hand)
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 (Costco carries this cheese for a lot cheaper than a grocery store)
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 2 turns 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 1 minute 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.

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