Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Angel Hair Pasta

17 Feb
Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Angel Hair Pasta

Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Angel Hair Pasta

What’s not to love about a thick, cheesy sauce filled with spinach and artichokes? Well, maybe the fat content but I reduced it down as much as possible to still give you an awesome meal without meat! I can’t believe I pulled it off. I was worried, I tell you. I don’t serve meatless meals that often in this household, but it was rich enough to sate even my husband’s carnivorous appetite. While shopping for my list of food for this, I was specifically looking for  some Neufchâtel in the cheese aisle and when I started peering closely at labels, this more than helpful stocker asked if he could assist me. When I told him what I was looking for, he pointed it out and said “Neufchâtel is the original cream cheese, and has 1/3 less fat than that other stuff.” Well I was one not to argue since I knew that already but thought I’d throw that out there for you in case you didn’t. He also informed me that they have various forms of  Parmesan cheese in no less than four different locations in the store, and five if you counted the fake-shake stuff by the jarred spaghetti sauce. I think this guy really knew his cheese. Thank you, sir.

Moving on, I’ve mentioned before that if you use spinach,  always think of lemon and crushed red pepper flakes. That combination just can never go wrong. In fact, just go off right now and cook up some fresh spinach with a little butter and lemon juice and red pepper flakes, and tell me what you think? OK. We have an understanding. Before I lose too many carnivores in this post, you can always add some cooked chicken at the end to this. I was tempted. But I resisted.

Please do not be intimidated by my long post below, as this actually comes together in about a half an hour. I just had lots of  words to share with you!

Adding Spinach to Creamy Cheese Sauce

Adding Spinach to Creamy Cheese Sauce

Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Angel Hair Pasta

8 ounces Angel Hair pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 brick (8 ounces) Neufchâtel cream cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 6-ounce bag fresh spinach
1/2 to 1 cup low-sodium homemade or boxed chicken broth, as needed
More Parmesan cheese for serving

Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. In a deep cast-iron or heavy bottomed skillet, heat the olive oil to medium, cook the garlic a minute or so, then add the brick of cream cheese. Once the cheese starts melting a bit,  add the milk (I used 1%)  and light sour cream. Using a spatula or back of large spoon, smoosh the brick of cheese all around and get it to mix with the liquid. Just keep smooshing and stirring and cooking and finally it will start looking creamy. I know, I had my doubts on this. It does eventually happen.  Once the mixture starts looking creamy enough, add the 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese, then stir until combined. Grind a bunch of black pepper over it all, to taste. I add lots, usually. Now add the lemon juice, pepper flakes, and artichoke hearts and stir and stir around to combine nice and good.

At this point, you better put your Angel Hair pasta into the water that’s probably boiling by now. Now it’s time to start adding the spinach into the sauce. I just grabbed a handful of spinach and tore it up a bit and started adding it to the creamy sauce handful by handful and stirring it in. This is where the chicken broth comes in. As the sauce starts to get too thick, stir in a bit of chicken broth, maybe a quarter of a cup at a time, stirring all the while. Add more torn spinach, stir, simmer, add more, stir simmer. Too thick? More chicken broth. You get the picture. Finally all the spinach will be in and wilted, and you will be very hungry now because it looks and smells so good. OH! Drain that now-cooked pasta, heap a mess on a plate, then spoon the delicious creamy yummy spinach artichoke sauce over it. Top with more shredded Parmesan cheese to taste. Whoa! This is goooood. Real good.

Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Angel Hair Pasta

Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Angel Hair Pasta Ready to Eat

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One Response to “Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Angel Hair Pasta”

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  1. Spinach, Artichoke, Chicken, and Mushroom Alfredo Pasta | anotherfoodieblogger - May 1, 2013

    […] follow the recipe from this blog entry Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Angel Hair Pasta,   except add the mushrooms when sauteing the garlic, then add the cooked chicken when adding the […]

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