The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Light Spinach-Artichoke Mac and Cheese

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Level: Easy

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Description

Basically a health food.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Whole Wheat Short Cut Pasta
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Flour
  • 2 cups Skim Milk Or More As Needed
  • 8 ounces, weight Mozzarella Cheese, Grated
  • 1 clove Garlic, Peeled And Minced
  • 1 whole Scallion, Thinly Sliced
  • 10 ounces, weight Frozen Spinach, Thawed And Squeezed Dry
  • 1 can (13 Oz. Size) Artichoke Hearts In Water, Or Jar/frozen Equivalent, Drained On Paper Towels
  • 2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste

Preparation

Cook the pasta 1 minute short of package instructions for al dente, then drain and set aside.

Heat a large skillet to medium heat with the olive oil and flour. Whisk occasionally and cook until the flour combines with the oil and just slightly browns. Keep whisking and slowly stream in the milk. Increase the heat to bring the sauce to a bubble, then add the cheese. Stir to melt the cheese then remove from heat. Taste and add salt and pepper to your preference.

Combine the pasta, white sauce, garlic, scallion, spinach and artichokes in a large bowl or in the same pot you used to boil the pasta. Taste the mixture, and add more salt an pepper if needed. Splash in a bit more milk if you’d like a saucier mac.

To serve right away, pour it into a 9×13 or similar sized dish, sprinkle the top with the Parmesan and bake at 425 F for 15-20 minutes or until the top browns.

To serve in a few days or later that day, cover the dish with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until you are ready. Then unwrap it and put the dish of mac and cheese in a cold oven and set oven to 350 F. Let oven and mac come to temperature together, then continue cooking for 20 more minutes until bubbly and hot.

To freeze, cover with plastic wrap then also cover with tin foil before freezing. Thaw on the counter for a few hours before baking, then uncover and bake as directed above.

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