Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip (U.B.C. – Day 25)

A perennial favorite in my house, it always gets gobbled right up.  I could eat a batch of this by myself for dinner.

This recipe makes 10-12 servings.  Although I call for Parmesan or Romano cheeses, you can use just about any type of cheese you want.  Cheddar always makes a good dip, and Fontina makes a really mild dip that goes well with lighter flavored crackers.  I use white pepper in all my recipes, as it provides the flavor without so much of the bitter taste so common in peppery recipes, but it’s all a matter of taste.  Make it your own!

Ingredients:

1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed*

1 14-oz can/jar artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1 cup shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese

1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

10 ounces Alfredo sauce**

1 tsp minced garlic

4 oz cream cheese, softened

Pinch ground white pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and spread the mixture into an 8×8 glass or ceramic baking dish.***

3.  Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbling.

4.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving (to avoid burning your mouth as you chow down on the cheesy goodness!).

*  You can also use fresh spinach steamed to wilting, but it’s much more time consuming and I don’t think it changes the taste that much.

**  You can use either the kind that comes in a jar or any of the brands that you can find in the fresh pasta section at most supermarkets.

***  If you are making a larger batch, use a larger pan, i.e., a 9×13 lasagne pan.

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