Spinach and Artichoke Mac 'n' Cheese

Aired February 12, 2009

Serves 4 servings

1 pound semolina or whole wheat penne
2 tablespoons EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups milk
Freshly grated nutmeg, about 1/4 teaspoon or to taste
1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and wrung dry in a kitchen towel
1 10-ounce box frozen chopped artichokes, defrosted and wrung dry in a kitchen towel
Black pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded Italian Fontina cheese, plus additional for sprinkling on top
1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus additional for sprinkling on top




Preheat oven to 375F and place rack in the middle of the oven. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta, salt water and cook pasta to al dente.



While the pasta water comes to a boil, place a medium pot over medium-low heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons, and the butter. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook the veggies until very soft, about 10 minutes.



Turn the heat up to medium-high and sprinkle the flour into the pan. Cook for about 1 minute then whisk the wine into the pan, cooking for another minute to burn off the alcohol. Whisk the milk into the pan and bring up to a bubble. Add the nutmeg, spinach, artichokes, salt and pepper to the sauce and simmer until thickened and vegetables are warmed through, 2-3 minutes more. Add 1 cup of each of the cheeses to the sauce and stir until melted.



Toss the prepared sauce with the cooked pasta and transfer to a casserole dish. Sprinkle some more Fontina and Parmigiano over the top and bake until the cheese has melted and the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.







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