Delicious dinner last night courtesy of “The Pioneer Woman”, Ree Drummond. I’m leaving Sunday for 5 weeks so I thought I’d better get in some cooking for the boys (that would be my husband Bob and son Zach) before I leave. I’m going to Sicily and London for work so no cooking or baking for 5 weeks but lots of eating I’m sure, maybe I’ll be able to share some of it with you when I get back.
6 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, finely minced (I used 2, they were pretty big)
2 bags baby spinach (I just used 1)
2 cans artichoke hearts, drained and halved
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups whole milk (I only had 1%)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (left this out)
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups Mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese, grated (I used Mozzarella)
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth (less or more) (I didn’t need this as my sauce was not too thick, perhaps it was the 1% milk)
12 ounces Penne, cooked until al dente (I used a 16 oz box)
1/2 cup seasoned Panko breadcrumbs
crushed red pepper, to taste (again, left this out)
1 Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large pot or skillet. Add garlic and throw in spinach. Stir it around until it’s wilted, about 1 minute. Remove spinach from pot and set aside.
2 Add 2 more tablespoons butter to same pot and raise heat to high. Throw in halved artichokes and stir it around until they get a little color, 1 – 2 minutes. Remove artichokes from pot and set aside.
3 Reduce heat to low. Add 2 more tablespoons butter to pot. When melted, sprinkle in flour and whisk until it’s combined. Pour in milk and whisk to combine. Let cook for 3 – 4 minutes or until starting to thicken. Add Parmesan, Mozzarella or Monterey Jack, salt and pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir to melt, if it’s overly thick, splash in chicken broth.
4 Add artichokes and pasta, tossing gently to combine. Gently fold in spinach, then pour pasta into serving bowl. Sprinkle top with red pepper flakes and plenty of breadcrumbs for crunch.