Sunday, February 7, 2010

Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina


[Printable Recipe]

Matt and I were watching Giada on the food network one day, and she made this dish. It looked so good that we printed the recipe and made it the next night for dinner. I also made it for my family when they came to visit. I think my brother ate 4 helpings (probably half of a 9x13 pan – no joke)
I describe this meal as a grownup’s mac and cheese. You have to try it.
1 c. pastina pasta( or any small pasta – I used elbow)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 c. cubed chicken breast
1/2 c. diced onion ( I actually used more like 1 c.)
1 clove garlic (used more like 2 or 3, but we like garlic)
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 c. shredded mozzarella
1/4 c. chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. bread crumbs
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. butter

Preheat the oven to 400.  Butter a baking dish.
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over a high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender. Drain pasta into a large bowl.
Cut the chicken into 1 inch cubes, dice the onion and garlic.
While pasta is cooking, put olive oil in the pan, and cook chicken, about 3 mins.  Season the chicken with garlic salt, pepper if desired
Add onions and garlic. Cook until onions are soft and the chicken is cooked.
Put chicken in bow with pasta. Add canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
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Place the mixture in the baking dish. I used to circular baking dish. I doubled the recipe and used a 9x13.
In a small bowl mix together bread crumbs, and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture.
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Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until top is golden brown, about 30 mins.

This was so good. Definitely making the rotation. My only suggestion is season all the layers, season the chicken, then season the mixture. I may try to use melted butter on top next time. There seemed to be some dry spots. But still worth making again, and again.


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