I know I've said it before but baked pasta dishes are one of my favorites. Not only do they taste delicious but they are simple to prepare ahead of time and then bake whenever it's dinner time. The original recipe for this pasta dish was for spinach and artichoke pasta. I was super excited since those are two of my favorite vegetables. I then decided to add in a third favorite vegetable, broccoli, to give it even more vitamins and nutrients.
This is a great pasta bake. The sauce is creamy but not overly heavy. The reduced fat cream cheese and sour cream make it lighter as well. All of the vegetables help to lighten it up and give it a nice crunch. Both Frank and I really enjoyed this dish and next time I may add some roasted red pepper or sun-dried tomatoes to give it a little color.
Spinach Artichoke Broccoli Pasta Bake (adapted from Carrie's Sweet Life)
16 oz of short pasta (I used penne)
1 T. Olive Oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2-3 c. fresh spinach
3/4 c. low fat sour cream
4 oz of cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat)
½ c. Parmesan Cheese
1 t. Italian seasonings1 (14 oz) Can of Artichoke Hearts, rinsed and drained
¾ c. mozzarella cheese
1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water before you drain the cooked pasta.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the onion, salt, and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the broccoli and garlic and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
3. Toss the spinach in with the other vegetables and cook until just wilted, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
4. In a large bowl combine the sour cream, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasonings. Add in the pasta and mix until well coated.
5. Stir in the pasta liquid, artichokes, and half a cup of mozzarella cheese.
6. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray and spread the pasta into the dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
7. Broil the pasta mixture for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown and melted.
**If you made the pasta ahead of time and refrigerated, preheat the oven to 375 and bake for 15-20 minutes before broiling the top. You may also need to add 1/3 cup of water before baking to keep it from drying out.**