Spinach, Artichoke & Chicken Mac 'n Cheese

Another recipe from Rachael Ray. I made a few changes...it is so tasty! Definitely one of our favorite meals.

1 pound semolina or whole wheat penne (or whatever kind of pasta you have on hand)
2 Tbsp. EVOO
3 Tbsp. butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
3 Tbsp. flour
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups milk
1 cup cooked & chopped chicken breast
1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and wrung dry in a kitchen towel (you can use fresh, too)
1 10-ounce can chopped artichoke hearts
1 1/2 cups shredded Italian Fontina cheese, plus additional for sprinkling on top
1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus additional for sprinkling on top
Bacon bits (for topping, if desired)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta, salt water and cook pasta to al dente.

While the pasta water comes to a boil, place a medium pot over medium-low heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons, and the butter. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook the veggies until very soft, about 10 minutes. Then heat the broiler and position rack in the middle of the oven.

Turn the heat up to medium-high and sprinkle the flour into the pan. Cook for about 1 minute then whisk the wine into the pan, cooking for another minute to burn off the alcohol. Whisk the milk into the pan and bring up to a bubble. Add the chicken, spinach, artichokes, salt and pepper to the sauce and simmer until thickened and the chicken & vegetables are warmed through, 2-3 minutes more. Add 1 cup of each of the cheeses to the sauce and stir until melted.

Toss the prepared sauce with the cooked pasta and transfer to a casserole dish. Sprinkle some more Fontina and Parmigiano over the top and bake until the cheese has melted and the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with bacon bits, if desired.


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