|This recipe is perfect for taking a meal to a friend. It makes two pans, one for dinner and one to give away. My friend from Miss F's playgroup had her baby girl Sloane a few weeks back and I knew I wanted to bring this meal. I brought a salad and a batch of chocolate chip cookies to go along with it. We had it the night before, of course C picked out all the tomatoes, which then made Miss F pick out all her tomatoes...fantastic. Nonetheless, he went back for seconds and so did I. I made some changes to the sauce from the original recipe on Martha Stewart, after tasting the sauce I felt it needed Parmesan and I prefer a melted cheese crust on top of baked pasta. The sauce is dangerously rich and totally delicious. C said he would prefer his with carrots and broccoli next time. I am not so sure about the carrots, but maybe I will add some broccoli and red bell pepper next time I make it.|
6 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dishes
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound penne pasta
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, halved horizontally
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 garlic cloves, minced
5 cups whole milk
10 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
½ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
1 cup finely grated Parmesan
½ cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
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 per side. Halve each piece lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise.
In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, melt butter over medium. 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 the Parmesan. Add chicken and pasta to pot; season with salt and pepper. Divide pasta mixture between baking dishes; sprinkle each with ¼ cup mozzarella. Bake, uncovered, until top is golden and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
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