Spinach and Artichoke Pasta Recipe
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter divided
- 10 oz fresh spinach *see note on substitutions for using frozen
- 4 oz cream cheese cut into pieces (reduced fat is ok)
- 1 cup 8 oz sour cream ("light" sour cream is ok)
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 cans 15 oz each quartered artichoke hearts, well drained
- 4 oz can diced jalapeños drained (optional)
- 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves pressed
- 16 oz penne pasta with 1 cup reserved pasta cooking liquid
Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water to desired doneness (I added 1/2 Tbsp salt for a soup pot half filled with water. Drain pasta and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water (DONT FORGET).
In a large pot, melt 2 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Once hot, add spinach and stir until slightly wilted. The spinach wilts fast (about 1 minute) and I might have overdone it because I was snapping the picture rather than removing it right away. Notice how much it shrinks - wild eh?! Transfer wilted spinach to a colander and let it drain while preparing the rest of the recipe.
Add 4 Tbsp butter to the same now empty pot along with 4 oz cream cheese cut into pieces, 1 cup sour cream and 1 cup parmesan and stir until everything melts together and starts to bubble.
Stir in drained artichokes and cook an additional 1-2 min then add drained spinach, pressed garlic and jalapeños (if using). Cook until hot then toss in the cooked, drained pasta. Stir in reserved pasta water if desired (I added at least 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid - this makes the sauce a little lighter and creamier and helps to keep the pasta moist when it's reheated).
On substitutions: I cut the original spinach and artichoke dip recipe in half and it was plenty for this pasta sauce. * Also, I used fresh spinach but you can totally use frozen, just be sure to thaw it and squeeze out the excess moisture with your hands. If using frozen, you can skip step 2 and add the spinach in at step 4.