I can’t say enough good things about this dish. It’s fast, flavorful, budget-friendly and so incredibly delicious. Joe and Andrew both loved it too, and it was a great way to sneak some extra vegetables into my toddler. I’ve found I can hide just about anything in macaroni and cheese and he’ll eat it. Needless to say, this dish will be making many repeat appearances in our house!
Spinach and Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese
source: adapted from Rachael Ray
1 pound short-cut pasta
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 cups milk
1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
1 can chopped artichoke hearts in water, drained
2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend, plus additional for sprinkling on top
1 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus additional for sprinkling on top
1. Place a large pot of water over high heat to cook the pasta. When the water is boiling, salt it well and drop in the pasta. Cook to al dente, according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and reserve.
2. While the pasta is cooking, place a medium pot over medium-low heat with the olive oil and the butter. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook the veggies until very soft, about 10 minutes.
3. Turn the heat up to medium-high and sprinkle the flour into the pan. Cook for about 1 minute, then whisk the chicken stock into the pan, cooking for another minute. Whisk the milk into the pan and bring up to a bubble. Add the vegetables and salt and pepper to taste to the sauce and simmer until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cheeses to the sauce and stir until melted.
4. Toss the prepared sauce with the cooked pasta and transfer to a casserole dish. Sprinkle more of the cheeses over the top and broil under low heat until the cheese has melted and the top is golden brown.