I absolutely love the spinach & artichoke combo (check out my Savory Spinach & Artichoke Bread Pudding! So Good!). I made this baked pasta dish today for Christmas Eve but of course made a small dish for myself so I can try it. Let me tell ya, this is delicious! I am always put in charge of the non fish dish for Christmas Eve and generally stick to a baked pasta dish because they aren’t complicated and I have plenty of cooking for Christmas Day. I’ve done a butternut squash lasagna and a roasted veggie lasagna in the past, both delicious but I wanted to do something different this year.
Seeing as I’m on a spinach & artichoke kick I figured why not make a baked pasta! This is made with a short pasta, sautéed garlic, shallots, spinach and artichoke and tossed with a simple béchamel sauce with mozzarella and grated pecorino romano. Rich and creamy, so yummy! Give this one a try soon, great for a crowd!
Baked Spinach & Artichoke Pasta
2 lbs short pasta, penne, ziti or rigatoni
2 large shallots, diced
10 garlic cloves, sliced
20 oz spinach, rough chopped
3- 14 oz cans artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
6 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup flour
7 cups milk, slightly warmed
1 lb shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups grated pecorino romano cheese, plus extra to sprinkle on top
salt & pepper
Oven at 350 degrees.
Cook the pasta a couple minutes shy of al dente (according to pkg directions). Drain and put into a very large bowl, toss with a few drizzles of olive oil to prevent sticking.
In a large saute pan, over medium heat, add enough oil to just coat the bottom. Add the shallots and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook until softened.
Add in the artichoke hearts and spinach a little at a time until the spinach is all wilted down. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the spinach and artichoke mix to the cooked pasta. Toss.
Bechamel is a simple basic sauce that can be used to create many different types of sauces.
In a large pot, over medium low heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and allow to cook a few minutes.
Add in the slightly warmed milk and whisk until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Raise heat to medium. Cook until thickened enough to just coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Shut the heat and add in the mozzarella and pecorino romano cheese. Stir to combine.
Pour the sauce over the pasta and stir to combine. Pour the pasta into a large baking pan, sprinkle some more pecorino romano overtop and bake for approx 25-30 minutes, until bubbbly and lightly golden.
*this is my original recipe*