Friday, October 5, 2012

Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina

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My best friend has recently taken up cooking dinner for her and her boyfriend, and she thrives off of casseroles. Since she is a middle school P.E. teacher, the last thing she wants to do after a long day of dealing with kids is make an elaborate meals (especially since we all know how kids at that age can be). She still wants her dinner to have all the flavor of elaborate meals, just minus most of the steps.
Recently she has tried my Beef Tamale Casserole and loved it, so I thought I would try a few other casserole dishes that she can easily enjoy. Since most people want something quick after a long day at work (especially if you work long hours or if you have kids at home) these casserole dishes come in handy for everyone. This particular one was extremely easy since I used a store-bought rotisserie chicken, so I was able to quickly pop it in the oven and go on a run while it baked. It's creamy, flavorful and perfect for fall. Enjoy!
Printable Recipe

  • 1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup Rotisserie chicken, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can Italian flavored diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 cup part-skim Mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 1 tbsp. butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta and put into a large mixing bowl.

Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes.

Put onions and cubed chicken into the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

Place the mixture in a greased 9x9" baking dish.

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.

Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Source: Adapted from Food Network

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