You can always count on the Martha Stewart website for the most fantastic meals and recipes. I ran across this one the other day, and boy am I glad I did!! This was so ridiculously delicious! There are 3 thing I will warn you about. This recipe definitely took an hour (maybe a bit more) from prep to finish (I don't know if it's because I used fresh veggies or what??). Also, it dirties a lot of dishes. I'm a big advocate for not making a HUGE mess, and cleaning while I cook, and it definitely used a lot of dishes. The comments below the recipe state that it came out a little blah.... and.... yeah... it could have been. But I doctored mine a bit. I really feel like I need to incorporate more veggies and good stuff for my little man so I added nice fresh asparagus stalks to this meal. I also added a couple good dashes of onion powder to the final mixture, and then under the top coating of cheese I added a Parmesan herb topping that I had in my spice cabinet.
You know the best part of this meal? It makes enough for two meals, so I could cook one that night, and freeze the other half for another night! Oh me loves it when I can cook enough for 2 nights! Here ya go!!
Baked Penne with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes:
- 6 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dishes
- coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 pound penne rigate
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (8 ounces each), halved horizontally
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 cups whole milk
- 10 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups shredded provolone (6 ounces) (I Sargento's Shredded Mozerella/Provolone mixture)
- 1 cup finely grated Parmesan (4 ounces) (I would suggest a little more than this)
- Preheat oven to 400. 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 provolone and 1/2 cup Parmesan.
- Add chicken and pasta to pot; season with salt and pepper. Divide pasta mixture between baking dishes; sprinkle each with cup Parmesan.
- Bake, uncovered, until top is golden and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
- Prepare through step 4; let cool. Cover tightly with foil, and freeze, up to 3 months.
- Preheat oven to 400, and bake (still covered in foil) on a rimmed baking sheet until center is hot, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove foil; bake until golden, about 15 minutes more.
P.S.... I've noticed quite the trend of cheese-topped items on my site.... eh... oh well!! It's soooooo good!