One of my favorite meals is baked pasta. It's a great way to clean out the leftovers hanging around in your fridge - just cook up some pasta (ideally something like penne, macaroni or rotini) then cut up and toss in that leftover chicken leg, leftover cauliflower, and two-day old spinach along with those fresh herbs that are starting to wilt. Add some cheese and some liquid, stick it in the oven for 20 minutes, and you've got supper. (Larger image.) Serves 2.
For more casserole ideas check out "On a (Casse)Roll."
For more pasta ideas you'll find them at "Primarily Pasta."
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
- 1/2 lb. rotini (or penne, rigatoni, maccaroni)
- 1 cup cut-up cooked chicken
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 onion; coarsely chopped
- 1/2 bell pepper (green works, but red, yellow, or orange are better); chopped
- 1 clove garlic; chopped
- 1/2 tsp. dried Italian herb mixture
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup white vermouth (optional)
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 8 - 10 NatureSweet tomatoes*; cut in half
- 1/2 cup shredded provolone (or mozzarella)
- 1/4 cup shredded asiago (or Parmigiano or Romano)
1. Heat oven to 400F.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and reserve.
3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot add onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent - about 4 minutes.
4. Add garlic, herbs, and pepper flakes and cook another minute, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute.
5. Add vermouth, if using, and reduce to a syrup. Add chicken stock and stir it into liquid, bring to a simmer and remove from heat. This is your sauce.
6. Combine pasta, chicken, sauce, tomatoes and 2/3 of cheeses in a small baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
7. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until top begins to brown.
*Note 2: NatureSweet is the brand name for a thumb sized tomato that actually tastes good - unlike every other tomato on earth - during the winter. They're not cheap, but they do taste fresh. If I couldn't find these, I'd use half a can of diced tomatoes.