So after all the dramz on Saturday, I still had to prep for my long run on Saturday (more on that in my next post). I had made an executive decision a while back to carbo load on Saturday nights. I had this recipe bookmarked for a while, but it kept on getting pushed back. As I’ve said before, I’m a sucker for a hot-dish–what constitutes at hot dish anyway? I tried to make it healthier by nixing the breadcrumbs, used whole wheat flour instead of white flour, used whipping cream instead of heavy cream, more broccoli and whole wheat pasta. I thought it turned out well, and it holds up well for leftovers, which is always a bonus. Doug was also excited for all the leftovers because according to him “it was good for eating my feelings”
Baked Penne with Chicken, Broccoli and Sun Dried Tomatoes:
Serves 4 with some leftovers
2 bunches broccoli with the stalks cut off and florets trimmed into 1-inch pieces
12 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
2 TBL olive oil
2 TBL minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme
¼ cup whole wheat flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup cream
1 tsp salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or about 1 1/2lbs), trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
3 ounces smoked mozzarella, shredded
8 ounce jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped into pieces
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and make sure the oven rack is placed in the middle of the oven. In a large pot, bring the water and salt for the pasta to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the broccoli. The broccoli cooks quickly so stay close! Cook the broccoli for 1 minute, until it is bright green. Quickly remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon to a plate. Return the water to a boil and add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 1-2 minutes less than how you would eat it normally (it will cook a bit more in the oven while baking). Drain the pasta in a colander and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Leave it in the colander and set it aside.
2. Cook chicken. You don’t need to do anything fancy, just cooking in a skillet on the stove it fine. Once chicken in cooked. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Wipe the pot you cooked in the pasta in dry. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and return to medium heat. Stir in the garlic and thyme; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the flour, and pepper, and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the broth and cream; bring to a simmer, whisking often. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and smoked mozzarella.
4. Add the cooked pasta and broccoli to the sauce; stir to combine. Transfer the pasta mixture to a 9x 13 baking dish. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbling. Serve immediately.
Pre Baked Casserole/Hotdish/ Yummy Goodness