Friday, December 14, 2012

Spinach Artichoke Pasta

One of my favorite appetizers to get at a restaurant is spinach artichoke dip.  I know it goes straight to my thighs but oh it is so yummy.  So worth running a extra 2, 3, 4 ... 5 miles on the treadmill.  Okay wait!  Maybe not 5 miles!

So what could possibly be as good?  Spinach artichoke dip in pasta form.  O-M-G!  This is amazing.  I have made this 3 times before I could blog about it.  It is drool worthy and worth all the time it takes to make it. 

Spinach Artichoke Pasta
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

6 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 bags baby spinach
2 can artichoke hearts, drained and halved
2 bottle Alfredo sauce
crushed red pepper flakes to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese grated
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs

1.  Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot or skillet.
2.  Add garlic and throw in the spinach.  Stir it around until it's wilted, about 1 minute.  Remove spinach from heat and set aside.
3.  Add 2 tablespoons butter to the same pot and raise the heat to high.  Throw in the halved artichokes and stir it around until they get a little color, 1 to 2 minutes.  Remove the artichokes from the pot and set them aside.
4.  Reduce the heat to low.  Add the 2 bottles of Alfredo sauce.  Add Parmesan, mozzarella, salt and pepper.  Stir to melt and add chicken broth until desired consistency.
5.  Add artichokes and pasta, tossing gently to combine.
6.  Gently fold in spinach.
7.  Pour the pasta into a serving dish.  Sprinkle the top with crushed red pepper flakes and plenty of Panko breadcrumbs for crunch.

I made this as a test run before Thanksgiving and then made it for the vegetarians in the family for Thanksgiving.  It was a hit among the vegetarians and carnivores.  More and more of my family is turning vegetarian so gatherings are becoming a little tricky.  

Then for Tzu Chi's gingerbread house building party I made this pasta again and one of the little girls ate 3 plate fulls.  I would call this a successful recipe.  That pioneer woman knows what she is doing.

Khloe the pup is as spoiled as ever.  The holidays are her favorite time of the year because she loves to snuggle and in the cold weather everyone welcomes a good snuggle.  Also, my family tends to give her a lot of seafood during this time of the year.  Just over the weekend I think Khloe the pup had over 6 shrimpies during dinner on Sunday.  Granted they were small.  But still spoiled.

Enjoy the holidays friends!


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