This was the first meal I cooked since being home with Kate. It was challenging, but I managed. It’s tough to get anything done when you have a baby who likes to be held, and you’re the kind of mama who wants to hold her baby all day long! But after seeing Giada prepare this meal on Everyday Italian, I was convinced it wasn’t that difficult (and it wasn’t), and fortunately I already had all of the ingredients in my pantry. Here’s what you need…
- 1 cup of any small pasta of your choice (I personally love the ruffles)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1 in cubes)
- 1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes w/juice
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I omitted this ingredient since I don’t have fresh herbs lying around…maybe I’ll plant some in my garden :))
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs (I used Italian and it was delicious)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 1 Tbsp butter, plus more for butter the baking dish
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl. Don’t overcook the pasta or else it will turn to mush when you bake it in the oven.
3. Pour olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 additional minutes.
4. Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
5. Place the mixture in a buttered 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish.
6. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter.
7. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.
This made plenty! I ate some for lunch, Adam and I ate it for dinner, and we still had a serving for leftovers!