Spinach Ar­ti­choke Orzo Pasta

The Drumheller Mail - - NEWS - Lori Ste­fan­ish­ion The Drumheller Mail Food Colum­nist

Here is a recipe for spinach ar­ti­choke lovers, which I hap­pen to be! I’m also a fan of orzo pasta. (If you aren’t fa­mil­iar with orzo, it looks like rice.) I served this de­li­cious side with a cran­berry chicken dish. I had a salad as well, but with the spinach and ar­ti­chokes al­ready in the pasta you have plenty for a meal.

To be­gin, you cook 1 cup of orzo pasta. While it cooks you can pre­pare the sauce and the veg mix­ture.

The sauce: • 2 crushed cloves of gar­lic • 3 ta­ble­spoons of olive oil • 3 ta­ble­spoons of flour • 1 cup veg­etable broth (or chicken) • ½ cup grated parme­san cheese • ½ cup plain yo­gurt

Toss gar­lic in a pan with oil and heat for a minute. Stir in the flour un­til smooth. Slowly whisk in the broth and stir un­til it boils and thick­ens. Re­move from heat and stir in the parme­san un­til it melts. Then add the yo­gurt. Sea­son with salt and pep­per and set aside.

The spinach ar­ti­choke mix­ture: • Olive oil • 1 onion, chopped • 1 bag of fresh spinach • 1 jar or can of ar­ti­chokes (about 400 grams) – I used mar­i­nated ar­ti­chokes for ex­tra fla­vor • ½ cup grated Ital­ian blend cheese or other blend such as ched­dar jack, etc. Cook the onion in olive oil un­til ten­der. Add the spinach by hand­fuls, cook­ing un­til wilted. Stir in the ar­ti­chokes and cook to heat through. Stir in the pre­cooked orzo fol­lowed by the sauce. Trans­fer this mix­ture to a casse­role dish, topped with the cheese blend. Bake at 350 for about 20 min­utes. Let stand for 5 min­utes be­fore serv­ing.

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