Be it a relaxing night in with friends, watching the football game or just catching up, such occasions call for great food. This flavorful, creative pasta skillet meal inspired by the time-honored appetizer, spinach-artichoke dip, is just the ticket.
Creamy Spinach-Artichoke Penne with Garlic-Thyme Breadcrumbs is quick, easy and ready in 30 minutes. To make the super simple pasta sauce, just saute garlic, stir in cream cheese, spinach and artichokes until the cream cheese melts, then add Parmesan cheese. Toss with Dreamfields penne, sprinkle with the irresistible crisp breadcrumb topping and serve. It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser.
A nod to healthier eating
Even though this dish sounds as decadent as its namesake dip, this version uses fat-free or reduced-fat cream cheese to decrease calories and fat. Plus, there’s a boost of fiber and protein by using Dreamfields pasta. Made with premium durum wheat semolina and a special blend of fiber and plant protein, Dreamfields brings the delicious taste and texture of traditional pasta with five grams of fiber (twice that found in traditional pasta) and seven grams of protein per serving. To learn more about Dreamfields and for additional recipes visit www.dreamfieldsfood.com.
Creamy Spinach-Artichoke Penne with Garlic-Thyme Breadcrumbs
1 box Dreamfields Penne Rigate
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
5 cloves garlic, minced, divided
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
Ground black pepper
8 ounces fat-free or light (Neufchatel) cream cheese
1 pound frozen chopped spinach, thawed (not drained)
1 package (10 ounces) frozen artichoke hearts, cooked, drained, coarsely chopped
6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup cooking liquid; drain pasta and return to pan.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add panko and toast, stirring frequently, until light golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Add 2 minced garlic cloves (about 2 teaspoons), thyme and a sprinkling of salt and pepper; continue toasting until fragrant and golden brown, 1-2 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Transfer to medium bowl; set aside.
Return skillet to stovetop. Heat remaining tablespoon oil and remaining minced garlic over medium heat; cook just until garlic sizzles and turns golden. Add cream cheese, spinach with liquid and artichoke hearts. Cook until mixture melts to simmering sauce, stirring frequently. Stir in 6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese.
Add sauce to pasta; toss to coat. Add enough reserved pasta cooking liquid to make a light creamy sauce, if necessary. Adjust seasoning, including salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately, sprinkling generously with toasted breadcrumbs and additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Notes, Tips & Suggestions
One can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped can be substituted for frozen artichoke hearts.