"It's the company, not the cooking, that makes the meal!" ~Perilee 
(Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Baked Penne w/ Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

My kids loved this dish. Cameron ate three helpings. Jack thought it was to "milky" in flavor (not the most friendly dish for a lactose intolerant person). I thought it was good, but that it could have used a little more sun-dried tomatoes to give it more flavor. Jack and I thought it could have used a few more mushrooms as well.

6 Tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dishes
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 lb penne rigate (I used 17.6 oz Costo Penne)
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast (8 oz each), cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
4 garlic cloves, minced (I only used 2 cloves)
6 cups whole milk ( I used 3 cups whole, 3 cups 1%)
10 oz white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded provolone (I couldn't find shredded in my little town so I chopped up 8 oz sliced provolone found near the sandwich meats.)
1 cup (4oz) finely grated Parmesan (I only used 2 oz/1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter two shallow 2-quart baking dishes. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 3 minutes short of al dente; drain pasta and return to pot.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper; cook until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes oer sde. Halve each piece lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise.

In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and garlic; cook whisking, 1 minute. While whisking, gradually add milk; bring to a simmer, whisking frequently. Add mushrooms and tomatoes; cook 1 minute. Off heat, gradually stir in provolone and 1/2 cup Parmesan.

Add chicken and pasta to pot season with salt and pepper. Divide pasta mixture between baking dishes. Sprinkle each with 1/4 cup Parmesan.

Bake , uncovered , until top is golden and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

To Freeze prepare through to step 4 , cool. Cover tightly and let foil, and freeze for up to 3 months.
To bake from Frozen to 400 degrees. and bake (still covered in foil) on a rimmed baking sheet until center is hot, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove foil bake until golden, about 15 minutes more.

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