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Creamy Spinach & Rigatoni Bake Recipe
Creamy Spinach & Rigatoni Bake Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Creamy Spinach & Rigatoni Bake Recipe

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Macaroni and cheese is one of the ultimate comfort foods, but go ahead and give an Italian twist here.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 20 min.
MAKES:10 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 20 min.
MAKES: 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package (16 ounces) rigatoni
  • 8 ounces sliced pancetta, chopped
  • 3/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 5-1/4 cups 2% milk
  • 4 cups (16 ounces) shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 1 can (14 ounces) water-packed artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Cook rigatoni according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook pancetta over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Discard drippings; wipe skillet clean.
  3. In same pan, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until tender. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until blended; gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese blend until melted.
  4. Stir in artichokes, spinach and pancetta. Drain rigatoni; add to cheese sauce. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake, uncovered, 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Yield: 10 servings.
Originally published as Creamy Spinach & Rigatoni Bake in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2014

Full-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.


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MY REVIEW
brianneosborn User ID: 1758607 260818
Reviewed Feb. 5, 2017

"This was great!

I did make some changes:
I added diced portobello mushrooms, used a 12 oz bag of spinach instead of 10, and subbed turkey pepperoni because pancetta in our area stores is outside of our budget. I also didn't buy enough of the Italian cheese blend, so I used a Mexican blend we had on hand to make up the balance.
It still turned out delicious, and it made enough that I divided it into three pans, giving us supper plus two freezer meals."

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