You know the deal. You’re at a casual restaurant with a group of friends deciding what appetizer to share. You unanimously agree on the classic spinach/artichoke dip. Panic stricken, you privately ponder how you’ll be able to eat an adequate amount, while reaching across the table for your fair share.
Do you take some on a plate? Glob an abnormally large bite’s worth onto a single chip, hoping it won’t break in half in the process? Wait politely for everyone to go first and curse yourself after for not being more aggressive?
Too. much. pressure. I had to find a way to turn this popular snack into a substantial meal. Pasta proved to be just the right fit for this challenge.
My sauce has all the components of the beloved dip: spinach, artichokes and cheese. I pureed the ingredients for the recognizable creamy texture, and topped it off with flaky, seasoned Japanese Panko breadcrumbs. The salty, savory crunch mirrors the chips used for transporting the dip.
1 lb farfalle or penne pasta
1 (10 oz.) box frozen chopped spinach, microwaved and drained
1 (6 oz.) jar quartered, marinated artichokes
¼ cup diced red onion (about half of a small)
1 wedge Laughing Cow spreadable garlic and herb swiss cheese
5 Tablespoons white wine
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
Seasoned Panko breadcrumbs
Shredded mozzarella, optional
While pasta is boiling, chop red onion into small pieces.
Sautee onions in 1 Tablespoon olive oil until soft and slightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
In another pan, heat 5 Tablespoons white cooking wine over medium-high. Add spinach and lemon juice. Sautee 2 minutes.
Melt wedge of cheese into spinach.
Toss in marinated artichokes, including oil from jar.
Incorporate heavy cream and mix well. Add salt and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
Transfer ingredients to food processor and puree until smooth.
Stir sauteed onions into spinach and artichoke mixture. Toss with pasta and flash in pan to warm up.
Top with a generous coating of Panko breadcrumbs. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella if desired. Serve immediately.
Relish in having a bowl full of these flavors all to yourself.