I spend way too much money on food. I decided that I need to start project "clean out the pantry." There are certain pantry "staples" I have that I always replace after I use up. I'm going to try to use up as much food as I can, from both the pantry and the freezer. I was still in the mood for comfort pasta, so that meant it was time to use up some of the frozen chopped spinach in the freezer. I slightly mixed it up from the last recipe I made. I keep on buying canned artichoke hearts whenever they're on sale, so I decided to add them in. It's kind of like a very healthy version of spinach artichoke dip!
Recipe: Pasta with Spinach and Artichokes
6 oz whole wheat medium shells
10 oz frozen spinach
1/2 cup water
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
3 tbsp flour
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp half and half
4 cloves crushed garlic
1 tsp chopped basil
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1 wedge light garlic and herb laughing cow cheese
freshly grated black pepper
freshly grated parmesan
Boil 1/2 cup water, add the frozen spinach, reduce heat, and simmer (covered) for ~10 minutes, until it is cooked through. Add the artichokes. Cook until some of the water cooks off. Try to press out some of the water. Add the flour and cook for a few minutes. Add in the milk and half and half, cook until it forms a sauce. Add the garlic and basil. Add the cream cheese and laughing cow cheese, mash them both in until incorporated.
In the meantime, boil water for the pasta. Cook the shells until al dente. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss to coat. Add pasta water if necessary to thin out the sauce.