Saturday, June 9, 2012

Baked Pasta with Spinach, Artichokes and Chicken

Mr. T came home with a 2.5 pound bag of fresh baby spinach last week!  We really like spinach but I must admit it has been a challenge to find multiple ways of serving spinach!

Needing a new recipe led me to my new cookbook, Pasta Revolution from America's Test Kitchen.   There were a number of recipes that caught my eye but I kept going back to Baked Penne with Spinach, Artichokes and Chicken!  I am happy that I did!  A casserole with lots of flavor and made without using a can of soup!  It is like turning the popular spinach and artichoke dip into casserole!!


I did make a few adjustments based upon what was in the pantry.  I switched out the penne for rotini and sadly, I didn't have the frozen artichokes required in the recipe so I used a can of artichoke hearts.

Baked Pasta with Spinach, Artichokes 
and Chicken
adapted from Pasta Revolution from America's Test Kitchen

Serves 6-8

12 ounces penne (3 1/2 cups)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
18 ounces frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, patted dry, and quartered (I had one can of artichoke hearts, about 14 oz.)
10 ounces of frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry and chopped fine.  (I used fresh spinach which I steamed and chopped fine, about 8 ounces.)
10 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (2 1/2 cups)
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1 cup)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
4 cups shredded cooked chicken

Preheat oven to 450° F.

In a large Dutch oven bring 4 quarts of water to a boil.  Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until nearly al dente.  Drain pasta and set aside.

In another large pot, add butter, and melt over medium heat.  Add onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.  Slowly whisk in broth and cream until smooth and bring to simmer.  Stir in artichokes and spinach and continue to simmer until vegetables are heated through, about 1 minute.

Stir in 1 1/2 cups mozzarella and 1/2 cup Parmesan until melted.  Off heat, stir in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.  fold in cooked pasta and shredded chicken, breaking up any clumps of pasta.  Pour into 13 X 9-inch baking dish and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.  Bake until bubbling around edges and cheese is spotty brown, 12 to 15 minutes.  Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes and serve.

PRINTABLE RECIPE


When I saw the amount of spinach that Mr. T brought home I was a bit over-whelmed but I am so glad that he brought it home.  If he hadn't, I wouldn't have found this delicious recipe!!

Since I have been on a quest for ways to prepare spinach, earlier in the week, we had one of my favorites...Spinach Salad with Snappy Dressing.  It is a nice variation from wilted spinach and the snappy dressing is a perfect match.  

I also made a Spinach Chicken Salad which will be posted later this week.

I am participating in On the Menu Monday hosted by Yvonne at Stone Gable!  Take a look at all of the yummy dishes!!

10 comments:

  1. I am a fan of spinach and will try this recipe out this summer. Thanks, Kate. xoA

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  2. That looks like comfort food at its finest! 2.5 pounds of spinach sounds like a LOT of spinach:@)

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  3. Much as we love spinach, a big bag like that would be quite a challenge. Looks like you met it and conquered it with this tasty and colorful pasta.
    Sam

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  4. Looks like a crowd pleaser:) I love spinach I love to wilt in in Evoo and garlic and salt and top my pizza with it..It's so delish!

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  5. I love America's Test Kitchen, too. Looks like you found a great pasta recipe to try. I also checked out your Navajo Tacos and that recipe looks soooo good, too. Thanks for your visit.

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  6. I d love spinach dip so what's not to love here.

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  7. lovely pasta recipe - this may just be the perfect way to get my girls to eat their spinach!
    Mary x

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  8. oh my gosh that looks so delicious! i love a cheesy pasta! thanks for sharing!

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  9. I love the looks of this dish, Kate. And I bet the leftovers reheat well and are delicious.

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