Macaroni and cheese is one of the ultimate comfort foods, but go ahead and give an Italian twist here. —Tammy Rex, New Tripoli, Pennsylvania
Featured In: 35 Easter Dinners That Aren’t a Big Hunk of Ham
- 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
- Preheat oven to 375°. Cook rigatoni according to package directions.
- 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.
- 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.
- Stir in artichokes, spinach and pancetta. Drain rigatoni; add to cheese sauce. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
- 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.
Reviews for Creamy Spinach & Rigatoni Bake
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Reviewed Feb. 27, 2017 Edited Feb. 28, 2017
"I followed the directions. It was great. We called it Adult Mac n Cheese. Will make again."
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."