I love making this dish for girl's night, potlucks, game day . . . pretty much any time! The spicy peppercorns and healthy veggies give this mac and cheese a sophisticated flair. It's a surefire crowd-pleaser that will have everyone going back for seconds.
Technique tip: As an added bonus this is a great make-ahead recipe. Simply stop the process after the ingredients are combined in the casserole dish. Cover and refrigerate for up to three days, then bake as directed.
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound medium shell pasta
- 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns
- 2 cups grated hard cheese, like Parmesan or aged Asiago
- One 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- One 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 1/4 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, stemmed and chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta for 5 minutes; the pasta should be very al dente. Drain and set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together the cream cheese and the mayonnaise on medium speed. Gradually pour in the almond milk, wine, garlic powder, onion powder and Sichuan peppercorns. Mix until smooth and homogenous, 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the Parmesan, spinach, artichokes and the precooked pasta. Season to taste with salt.
5. Pour into a casserole dish and bake until cheese is golden and bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm, topped with the parsley.