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M: Spinach, Artichoke, and Chicken Penne

Posted Feb 15 2011 6:30am

Did everyone have a great Vday? Ours was low key. We knew Bryan would have a very late night working yesterday, so he took me to a phenomenal brunch on Sunday morning to celebrate. A $10 carafe of mimosa? Sign me up!

So, onto #6 of Rachael Ray’s top 10 recipes of 2010 ! The spinach, artichoke, and chicken penne…I won’t lie, I have been pretty excited about trying this one since I first saw the recipe.

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I love anything with spinach and artichokes. This recipe was no exception! I am so elated at the recipes that I’ve tried and now are becoming part of my recipe collection =) I can foresee this recipe being used on a big family dinner night!

The recipe basically creates a cheese sauce made with all kinds of fantastic ingredients: white wine, milk, garlic, etc. and then you just incorporate your spinach, artichokes, pasta, and chicken. It is easy and is just an awesome way to change up your regular pasta routine.

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The great thing is it is so easily made vegetarian – I wasn’t in the mood for chicken, so I didn’t put it in, but I still had it chopped up and ready for the hubs to stir into his dish.

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Spinach, Artichoke, and Chicken Penne

from Rachael Ray

1 lb. penne rigate pasta (or your favorite type of penne – wheat, whole grain, etc)

3/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 bay leaf

1 TB olive oil

2 TB butter

1 onion, finely chopped

3 to 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 slightly rounded TB flour

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 cup chicken stock

1 cup cream or whole milk

A few grates of nutmeg (or a few shakes of ground)

1 cup grated asiago or provolone cheese

1 10-oz. box chopped frozen spinach, defrosted, wrung dry and separated

1 14-oz. can arthichoke hearts in water, drained well and chopped

Grated parmesan for topping

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

Meanwhile, poach chicken. Place chicken in a small pan and add water to top of meat, but do not cover completely. Add bay leaf and bring to a boil, reduce heat and gently simmer to cook through 10-12 minutes. Shred meat into small pieces with forks or dice into small pieces.

While chicken cooks, heat olive oil in large, deep saute pan over medium heat. Melt butter into oil and add onions and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle flour over cooked onions and garlic and stir about 1 minute, then whisk in white wine. Add stock and stir about 1 minute then stir in cream and season with nutmeg. Thicken sauce a couple of minutes over low heat then stir in spinach and artichokes and heat through. Melt asiago or provolone into sauce and turn off heat.

Drain pasta and toss with sauce and chicken to combine, adjust salt and pepper to your taste. Garnish with freshly grated or shaved parmesan.

Enjoy!

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