Normally I’d say grab your chips and get dippin, when talking about spinach and artichoke dip, but today I’m saying grab your forks and start shoveling this awesome Spinach Artichoke Dip Pasta in yo mouths!!
Before I get all crazy about how much I love this pasta recipe I have some news! No I’m not writing a cookbook and no I’m not pregnant (I know those are the usual news headlines with us bloggers). Nope mine is a little less jaw dropping, but still it’s both exciting and scary for me. I finally signed up for another half marathon! I know, probably not the most thrilling news to you, but it is so important to me. I haven’t done a race since last September, it’s been way to long. It’s been an interesting past year for me running. Between getting used to the altitude and unforgiving Colorado hills, then spending half a month in the hospital with blood clots in my head, then learning how to walk and run again, then getting used to the hills and altitude again, to finally getting my weekly mileage back up to 70+ miles per week, I think I’m finally ready. Not only has this journey been physically demanding and frustrating for me, but probably more so mentally. I’ve had to accept that this race next month is going to be different from any race I have run in the past. Running in Colorado is a whole different ball game compared to running in Arizona. The altitude up here is a huge challenge and the hills are no picnic either. Even the smallest ones here make those big ones in Arizona look like ant hills. I can honestly say I may never hit the times I did back in AZ, but I’m starting to accept that and understand that the conditions up here are completely different. So with that in mind I’m going into this race next month with the mentality that I am starting from scratch and that whatever my time happens to be, it can only get better from there. Seriously you guys, it has taken me a LONG time to accept this and get it into my head that it’s ok if I’m not as fast as I used to be (please keep reminding me of this as the race gets closer, I tend to forget).
Back to the food! I’m a huge fan of spinach artichoke dip, so when I came across this recipe for a pasta version on Closet Cooking, I knew I had to make it. I made a few adjustments to Kevin’s delicious recipe to make it a little healthier.
I used whole wheat rotini instead of regular pasta, I replaced a tablespoon of the butter with healthier grapeseed oil, used part skim mozzarella cheese, skim milk, and instead of 4 ounces of cream cheese I used 2 ounces of goat cheese (love that tang and creaminess of goat cheese).
The Spinach Artichoke Dip Pasta was a huge success! It was perfectly creamy, cheesy, and soooo flavorful. The flavor of the garlic and artichokes was prominent, but not overpowering. The mixture of the goat cheese, parmesan cheese, and mozzarella gave the pasta the most amazing creamy, tangy, salty bite. I love pasta dishes that taste decadent, but still have plenty of nutritional value to them. This Spinach Artichoke Dip Pasta will make a great dinner for me during the next month of training for the half marathon, I can hardly wait!
- 8 ounces whole wheat rotini or pasta of choice
- 1 T. butter
- 1 T. grapeseed oil (extra virgin olive oil may be used instead)
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 T. flour
- 2 cups skim milk
- 1/2 t. kosher salt
- 1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- 2 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
- 3/4 cup part skim shredded mozzarella, divided
- 14 ounce can artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
- 2 cups baby spinach, packed
- Cook pasta according to package instructions omitting any oil.
- Drain the pasta and set aside.
- In a large saucepan melt the butter and oil over medium high heat.
- Add the shallot and saute for about 2 minutes or until the shallot has softened slightly.
- Add in the minced garlic and saute another minute.
- Add in the flour, stirring until it is completely incorporated, cook another minute.
- Slowly pour in the milk whisking continuously as you do.
- Add in the salt and pepper and continue whisking until the sauce is smooth and thickened, about another 2 minutes.
- Add in the parmesan cheese, goat cheese, and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese, and whisk until they have melted completely.
- Add in the artichokes and spinach and heat through until the spinach has wilted.
- Pour the pasta back into the sauce and fold together until it is completely covered in the cheese sauce.
- Pour the pasta mixture into a casserole dish and top with the remaining 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese.
- Place the pasta in the oven under the broiler and broil just until the top is golden brown.
- Serve immediately.
If you don't have or like goat cheese, low fat cream cheese may be used instead.