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Creamy Spinach & Rigatoni Bake

Macaroni and cheese is one of the ultimate comfort foods. My recipe gives it an Italian twist. —Tammy Rex, New Tripoli, Pennsylvania
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 20 min.
  • Makes
    10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package (16 ounces) rigatoni
  • 8 ounces sliced pancetta, chopped
  • 3/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 5-1/4 cups 2% milk
  • 4 cups shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 1 can (14 ounces) water-packed artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375°. Cook rigatoni according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook pancetta over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Discard drippings; wipe skillet clean.
  • In same pan, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until tender. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until blended; gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese blend until melted.
  • Stir in artichokes, spinach and pancetta. Drain rigatoni; add to cheese sauce. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake, uncovered, until golden brown and bubbly, 20-25 minutes.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/4 cups: 643 calories, 35g fat (20g saturated fat), 99mg cholesterol, 1438mg sodium, 53g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 3g fiber), 28g protein.

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