I’m burning scented cinnamon-y candles left and right, turning on the tree lights as frequently as possible, and singing Christmas carols.
Guys, it’s the holidays and I’m into it. Like so, so, so into it.
Tree hugger. It needed to be said. And no, this picture was not posed at all. I was standing like that for hours before the picture was taken.
We are possibly getting a sprinkling of the white stuff today and I can’t wait. If it’s gonna be cold, it might as well be snowy. Fact #456: I like snow.
While you are busy decking the halls and singing fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la, you will need to make some dinner (at least you should be eating something besides candy canes). I love all things that contain artichokes and spinach so I’ve had various spinach-artichoke-garlic-cheesy pasta dishes pinned on my ‘must make soon’ pinterest board for months and months. Guess who finally got around to trying it? Muah. Guess who finally got around to trying it twice? Muah. Muah. And no, that wasn’t a kiss. I’m not near any mistletoe right now.
I now present to you spinach-artichoke pasta done 2 ways.
Option #1: Full-on flavor (aka butter, cheese, cheese, more cheese, spinach and artichokes)
Option #2: Full-on flavor with less butter and cheese (aka I added cauliflower because I’m the self-declared cauliflower queen).
2T olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bag baby Spinach
2 can artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped (you want big chunks!)
3C milk (skim, 1%, 2%, or whole will work)
dash of cayenne pepper
1/4C(+more for serving) parmesan cheese
1 1/2C grated mozarella cheese
12oz whole wheat penne, cooked to al dente
1/2C vegetable broth
1/4C panko breadcrumbs (optional)
In a large skillet, melt 1T of butter and 2T of olive oil. Add garlic and spinach. Stir until wilted and garlic is fragrant. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Add additional 2T of butter to skillet. Add chopped artichokes. Cook for about 1-2 minutes. Toss in a pinch of salt and pepper. Transfer cooked artichokes to the spinach-garlic mixture.
Reduce the heat. Add remainder of butter. Once melted, add flour, whisking to create a roux. Cook for a few minutes to get rid of the flour taste. Slowly whisk in the milk. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until it has thickened. Add in cheese (parmesan and mozzarella). Stir in a sprinkle or cayenne pepper and salt.
Add in the vegetable broth.
Toss pasta into the sauce. Add in spinach-artichoke mixture.
Pour into serving dish. Sprinkle with panko and/or extra parmesan if desired.
1 medium-sized cauliflower, broken into florets (~4C total)
1C milk (skim, 1%, 2%, or whole will work)
1C vegetable broth
1/3C parmesan cheese
1/2 to 3/4C grated mozzarella cheese (depends on desired cheesiness)
12 oz whole wheat penne, cooked to al dente
3T olive oil
2 bags baby spinach
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can artichokes, rinsed, drained and chopped roughly
1/4C panko (optional)
In a pot, combine cauliflower florets, milk, and veggie broth over medium heat. Allow mixture to simmer until florets are fork tender, about 12 minutes. Strain liquid off, but reserve it. Transfer cooked cauliflower to a blender. Puree until smooth. Add in reserved liquid 1/4C at a time until you achieve desired consistency for sauce.
Add in parmesan cheese and mozzarella. Taste and add salt/pepper to taste. Set aside.
In a large skillet pan, add 2T olive oil. Heat over medium heat and add garlic and spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to separate bowl.
Add additional 1T of olive oil to pan. Add in chopped artichokes. Cook until warm and slightly browned, about 1-2 minutes.
Add back spinach mixture to artichokes. Toss in pasta and add sauce. Stir to combine. (Note: you may not need all of the cauliflower sauce). Taste and add additional salt or pepper if needed.
Transfer to serving bowl. Sprinkle with panko if desired. Serve.