|When I saw this recipe on A Seasoned Greeting, I knew it looked familiar. The six cups of milk stood out to me. I have made Martha Stewart's Baked Penne with Chicken and Sun-dried Tomatoes several times and I realized this recipe had been adapted from it. I had adapted it as well, to make Baked Penne with Chicken, Spinach and Peppers. I made a few changes to the recipe from A Seasoned Greeting in order to cut down the number of pots. I love baked pasta dishes, but the numerous pots and pans are always a deterrent. This recipe is rich, creamy and satisfying. The best part is that it makes two pans worth. One to eat now and one to freeze for later.|
1 pound penne pasta
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
¼ pound pancetta, sliced thick and diced
6 tablespoons butter
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
3 garlic cloves, minced
5 cups whole milk
1 ½ cups grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease two 9’x9” casserole dishes. Cook penne per package instructions
While pasta is cooking, heat the oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven. Saute the chicken and pancetta for three minutes, until cooked through. Remove the chicken and pancetta to a dish, set aside.
Add the butter to the pan over medium heat. Add flour and garlic cloves. Cook and whisk for 1 minute. While whisking, gradually add milk and bring mixture to a simmer. Thicken sauce for about 2-3 minutes, whisking the entire time. Take the pan off the heat and gradually stir in the Parmesan, salt and pepper.
Add chicken, pancetta, and pasta to pot and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour into two casserole dishes. Sprinkle a half cup of mozzarella over each casserole. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.
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