Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Spinach and Artichoke Pasta

**Updated to change recipe.  I knew I shouldn't have posted this with out making it again first.  So sorry!

I made a comment about this recipe on my facebook status update yesterday, and a couple people asked for the recipe.  I thought I'd share it with the whole wide world.  Or the world wide web.  Or both people that read this blog.

This recipe was birthed from a Spinach and Artichoke dip that I used to make a lot.  One day, I decided to make it a meal.  It's a big hit around here.  I hope you like it, too!

Spinach and Artichoke Pasta

1/2 - 3/4  box of pasta - I generally use bow ties, but anything will do.
1 jar of prepared alfredo sauce - I use Bertolli.  Maybe one day I'll get fancy and make it from scratch.
1 box of frozen spinach, thawed and drained - I'm sure you could wilt fresh spinach if you are feeling extra spunky.
1 cup (ish) cooked chicken.  When I first started making this I used packaged precooked chicken, but I can think of eleventy things I'd rather spend 5$ on these days.  Now, I like to put frozen chicken breasts or thighs in my crock pot and then use that.
2 cups chopped marinated artichoke hearts - I get an enormous jar from Costco and then use a lot of them.  You can find small jars at the grocery store, but I really don't want to know how much that will run ya...  Also - I find the flavor from the marinade super delicious, so I would never advise you to use artichokes in water, but hey - do what you gotta do.  
4 cups of mozzarella cheese - Since I don't have any relevant commentary, I'll tell you this. Did you know that they put something on the shredded cheese so it won't clump?  I wish I didn't know that.  I have a friend who always buys blocks and shreds them.  I will probably consider doing that.  The thought of taking the time to do that make me want to cry a little.
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg - If you watch Rachael Ray, you know that nutmeg goes great with spinach dishes.  I also love it in scrambled eggs and macaroni and cheese.  Not Kraft, though.  That would just be weird.
Salt and pepper to taste

Okay.  Overwhelmed yet?  That was a lot of info.  Very much in the style of Must Share... Let's try this another way, in case you want to print it out or something...

Spinach and Artichoke Pasta

1/2 - 3/4 box of pasta 
1 jar of prepared alfredo sauce 
1 box of frozen spinach, thawed and drained 
1 cup (ish) cooked chicken, chopped  
2 cups chopped marinated artichoke hearts
4 cups of mozzarella cheese 
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Combine alfredo sauce and seasonings. After thawing spinach and squeezing all the water out of it, chop it and add it to the sauce mixture. Chop artichokes and add them.  Chop chicken into bite size pieces and add that.  Stir in the cooked pasta.  Mix 2 cups of the cheese into the casserole.  Spread into a 9 X 13 pan and sprinkle 2 cups cheese over the top. Bake at 350 until cheese is golden and sauce is bubbly.  Probably 30-45 minutes.  Enjoy!  To make the dip version, leave out the pasta and chicken.  Serve with tortilla chips or bread.

Disclaimer:  This is one of those recipes that I don't actually have a recipe for.  The above is my best guess.  Good luck!  Also - you know how some recipes are low fat and really good for you?  Yeah, this is the opposite of that.

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