I’ve been meaning to make this recipe for a couple of months, but never got around to picking up the ingredients until last week. If you’re like me and you LOVE spinach artichoke dip (Bull Dip, Bucknellians?), you will adore this pasta. It’s basically the pasta form of the dip in all of its creamy, spinachy goodness. The best part? It’s healthier than spinach artichoke dip and it only takes 20 minutes to make. My kind of comfort food 🙂
To make this recipe, which was inspired by the A Life of Flavor cooking blog, for two, you will need:
3 cups of bowtie pasta noodles (rule of thumb for pasta servings = 1.5 c dry pasta per person)
1 bag (approx. 8 oz or more) fresh spinach
5 artichoke hearts (canned and packed in water, drained and chopped)
1 T butter
1 clove garlic
1/2 c reduced fat cream cheese
1/3 c milk (reduced fat)
1/3 c sour cream (reduced fat)
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 t red pepper flakes (more if you like spicy things)
1/2 c parmesan cheese, shredded (plus more to top your pasta)
First, put a pot of water on the stove to boil (for the pasta) and put oil in another saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add spinach and saute until wilted. Place the spinach on a paper towel, and press another paper towel on top of the spinach to remove extra liquid.
Next, drain the can of artichoke hearts and chop 4-5 hearts into small pieces. If you’re making a larger batch, you’ll use all of the hearts. If you’re making this recipe for two, you don’t need to use all of them.
Once the water boils, add the pasta to the pot for about 12 minutes or until they taste done. Drain the noodles once they are done cooking. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and add minced garlic to the butter. Cook the garlic for 30 seconds (until it’s just starting to brown) and then add the cream cheese to the pan. It will sizzle, but don’t panic… it’s supposed to! Stir the mixture for a few minutes and wait for the cream cheese to melt. Then add milk, lemon juice, sour cream, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper.
Once the mixture is thick, add the spinach, chopped artichoke hearts and 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese. Stir it slowly, then add your drained pasta and let it sit over the heat for a few minutes. It should be thick and creamy. If you find that your sauce is too thin, add more cream cheese. Too thick? Add a bit more milk, or some of the starchy water from your pasta pan.
Add extra parmesan cheese once you’ve plated your pasta, and enjoy with a glass of white wine and some football (or a girly chick flick movie…). Some baked pita chips would also be a welcome accompaniment.