As I do every Sunday I begin menu planning for my week. One place I go for inspiration is Pinterest, I either get ideas from my own family meals or menu planning boards or just through a search. I found this Spinach, Mushroom and Artichoke Pasta Bake and thought it would be perfect for my Meatless Monday meal. When I dove into the original recipe I noticed there were some processed ingredients which I didn’t want to use so I changed it a bit to make it a better fit for my family.
Mushroom Spinach and Artichoke Pasta Bake
4 cups of fresh spinach
10 oz of your favorite mushrooms diced (I use baby portabella and dice them in small pieces since my boys are not a huge fan)
1 small onion diced
1 can of organic artichokes in water - cut into smallish pieces
16oz of your favorite penne pasta - use regular, whole wheat or gluten free
⅓ cup flour
2 cups whole milk
¼ cup heavy cream
3-4 cloves garlic - minced
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese - save ½ cup for the top
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 Tablespoons olive oil
salt/pepper to taste
⅛ teaspoon red pepper
In a large pot boil water and cook pasta until slightly under cooked. If the directions say to cook the pasta for 8 minutes cook for 6 minutes. You know what I mean. Add salt and a little olive oil to the water. When you drain the pasta do not rinse.
In a large saucepan heat olive oil and saute mushrooms and onion. Once they are cooked through add the artichokes, garlic and spinach. Continue to cook until spinach is wilted and garlic begins to cook but DO NOT BROWN it will become bitter. Once everything is cooked transfer to a bowl.
In the same saucepan add butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil with salt and pepper. Add Flour and let cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Whisk in milk until smooth then add ½ cup Parmesan cheese. At this point add the spinach mixture and incorporate through the sauce. Add red pepper and more salt/pepper if need be.
Once the pasta is cooked and drained add back to the pot and pour cream mixture over it. Mix well and transfer to a 9x13 glass baking dish. Add the last half of the Parmesan cheese on top and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes covered. Uncover and bake for additional 10 minutes.
***Instead of Spinach you could use Kale which is what I prefer but we had spinach so that is what I used.
Posted by Trina O'Boyle. Posted In : O'Boy! Food