creamy pasta bake with chicken, tomatoes, and peas
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I am a huge fan of the casserole
and this creamy pasta bake with chicken, tomatoes, and peas is a crowd pleaser
I hope I am not alone in thinking that being a parent of a middle schooler is hard work.
My kids both love school, so that part is easy, but the work…
Oh My Goodness.
I feel the stress creeping in at about 3:15, knowing that when they burst through the door at 3:45, they will both need my attention as they try and complete their homework.
The math, forget about it, I have to google just about everything. Luckily my mom was a science teacher, because Charlie’s physics homework can be tough for a non-science mind like mine. There’s nothing like some middle school homework to make me feel completely inadequate in the education department.
Don’t even get me started on the projects. Stella had to make Egyptian canopic jars, organs included, and Charlie needs to create and film a movie based on his answers to this question – How is power gained, used, and justified…these are the times I miss homeschooling.
What does this have to do with pasta? not much really, other than casseroles that can be made ahead of time make my life so much easier, and this casserole freezes beautifully (before baking) for a no-fuss we’ve got hours of homework to do dinner.
- 1 lb boneless, skinless, chicken breasts baked or poached, and then shredded
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 cups of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cups of peas, fresh or frozen
- 1 lb whole wheat pasta, small shape such as penne, farfalle, fusilli, cooked according to package instructions
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 cups of milk
- 1 cup of shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
- heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat
- add shallots and garlic, stirring often cook until golden in color (about 3 minute)
- add tomatoes and peas, and cook until softened
- set vegetables aside
- in a large saucepan, melt the butter, and stir in the flour until it has completely absorbed the butter
- whisk in the milk, making sure to break up any flour clumps
- bring to a simmer, and cook until the milk had thickened (about 3 minutes)
- Remove form the heat and stir in the mozzarella
- Season to taste with salt and pepper
- Add in the pasta, chicken and vegetables
- Transfer pasta to a 9 x 13 baking dish
- combine the Parmesan with the panko, and spread on top of the pasta
- bake until the sauce is bubbly, and top is golden brown (about 20 minutes)
recipe adapted from Clean Eating Magazine
To freeze this casserole, cover unbaked in plastic wrap, and then heavy duty foil. Thaw overnight in the fridge, and let it rest at room temperature for an hour before baking
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