ARTICHOKE FLORENTINE PASTA
1 package (16 ounces) penne pasta
6 tablespoons butter, divided
4 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces fresh baby spinach (about 16 cups)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups low-fat milk
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup white wine or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cans (14 ounces each) water-packed artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup Italian-style panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
Cook pasta according to package directions.
In a 6-quart Dutch oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook and stir 30 seconds. Add spinach; cook and stir 1-2 minutes, or just until wilted. Remove from pot.
In same pot, melt remaining butter over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Add Parmesan cheese, cream cheese, wine and seasonings; stir until smooth. Stir in artichoke hearts; heat through.
Drain pasta; add to sauce, tossing to coat. Stir in spinach mixture. Transfer to a serving dish; sprinkle with bread crumbs. Serve immediately. Yield: 8 servings.