Veggie

Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese meets spinach and artichoke dip in this inventive, delectable recipe. A combination of Wisconsin havarti, cheddar and parmesan creates a creamy, tangy, nutty flavor that highlights the spinach and artichoke add-ins.

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Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 ounces fresh spinach
  • 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed, roughly chopped and divided
  • 4 ounces Wisconsin cream cheese
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin parmesan cheese, shredded and divided
  • 2 tablespoons shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced and divided
  • 12 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon dry powdered mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin havarti cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat olive oil in large sauté pan over medium heat, add spinach and cook 1-2 minutes to wilt. Remove to plate to cool. Squeeze excess water from spinach. Set aside.

In small bowl, combine half of spinach and half of chopped artichoke hearts. Stir in softened cream cheese and ½ cup parmesan. Stir in shallots and 1 tablespoon garlic. Pour mixture into oven-safe baking dish and bake for 15 minutes or until mixture is toasted on top and heated through. Remove from oven; cover to keep warm and set aside.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside. In medium pot, melt butter and whisk in flour. Continue whisking vigorously over medium high heat until roux becomes golden brown. Add milk slowly, 1/2 cup at a time, whisking during each addition. Bring mixture to boil. Add mustard, pepper, 1 tablespoon garlic, remaining cheeses and sriracha sauce. Stir in reserved spinach and artichokes, mixing until evenly incorporated.

Pour pasta into cheese mixture; mix to ensure all pasta is coated evenly. Plate and top with generous spoonful of warm spinach and artichoke mixture. Serve.

Tip: 1 9-ounce package frozen spinach may be substituted for fresh. Thaw and drain spinach, squeezing to remove excess liquid.

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Semi-soft and semi-hard cheese, like Cheddar, Monterey Jack and Mozzarella, should be very cold for easy grating.