Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I’ll Take That, But I Can I Get it Without The….

Have you ever been to a restaurant and found something you REALLY wanted, but when you ordered, you requested about 15 changes to the dish??  That’s my sister.  “I want the caesar salad with grilled chicken, but can I get it with no protein, 86 the onions, and put the dressing on the side”.  Did that just happen??  I like to give her a hard time about it because well, that’s just what sisters do…even when they’re grown and married with kids :)  She cracks me up every time she orders.  I found this recipe and knew I had to try it, but when it came to the actual execution, I pulled a Sara.  Not because I didn’t like what the recipe was calling for and wanted to change it all up, but I was just too dang lazy to go to the store and pick up the basil.  Sad, but true.  Either way, this recipe still turned out DELISH!!  I’m sure Sara would want to 86 a few things in this recipe, but for me, it was definitely a keeper for sure!

CHICKEN PARMESAN PASTA BAKE

via Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

1 (28 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes
1 TBSP. olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups of water
1 - 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 pkg. {12 oz.} pasta shells (but you can use any type of pasta you prefer)
1 cup  grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces

Optional
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Even when I’m not snapping pics of what I’m doing in the kitchen, I still like to set out all of my ingredients in one place.  Makes cooking a *little* faster…at least, that’s what I tell myself.

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If you have an oven safe skillet, you’ll wanna get that out and start cooking with that.  The only oven safe skilled I own is my cast iron skillet and it was a little too shallow for this dish.  You can also use a regular skillet and then transfer everything to an oven safe dish when it’s time to bake.  Now let’s get started.

Toss the tomatoes into your food processor and pulse until they’re coarsely chopped.  I used my blender because my food processor is in the hospital.  Prognosis= sadsville.  Things aren’t looking good.  ANYWAY, pulse the tomatoes and set aside.  Toss the garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and olive oil into the skillet.  Cook on medium high heat for about a minute and then add the tomatoes, water, and 1 cup of chicken broth.  Stir to combine and then toss in the pasta {raw}.  Bring the tomato/pasta mixture to a simmer and cover.  Cook for about 16-18 minutes or until the pasta is tender.

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Make sure to stir frequently so that the pasta doesn’t burn and stick to the bottom of your pan.  Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.

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Once the pasta is cooked, stir in 3/4 cups of the grated parmesan and the pepper.  Then go ahead and add your cooked chicken, too.

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If the pasta mixture is too dry, you can add more broth {to your desired consistency}.  I didn’t have to add any because it was just right for me.  Stir to make sure the parmesan is well combined with the rest of the ingredients and then transfer everything to the oven safe dish I was talking about earlier {unless you’re cooking with an oven safe skillet, of course.}

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Now sprinkle the mozzarella and remaining parmesan evenly over the top of the pasta.  Heat the oven to 475 and bake for about 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is nice and bubbly.  As you can tell, I left mine in longer than the recommended time.  Forget to set the timer.  Then I forgot all about dinner altogether.  Since I’m such a mess in the kitchen, I like to get the heck outta dodge whenever possible.  Otherwise I’ll be too tempted to clean :)

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Even without the addition of the fresh basil…which would have been absolutely AMAZING, by the way…this little dish still turned out GREAT.  I love pasta so much that it’s an absolute necessity to have as many variations on the tried and true dish of spaghetti as I possibly can.  Mr. Spouse isn’t as big a fan as I am, so it’s pretty much imperative that I keep up with variety.  I know the ingredients look a little overwhelming {because pretty much anything requiring more than a handful of things usually is}, but you can see that this couldn’t have been any easier. That’s definitely MY kind of meal!!!

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11 comments:

  1. Yum!! I think my kids will love this one!
    Nicole
    Teaching With Style

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  2. This looks fabulous! I love a pasta bake :). Yummy!

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  3. oh my - looks awesome - definitely trying this!

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  4. Looks delicious! My husband won't eat anything with tomatoes...do you think a pasta sauce would work?

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  5. This looks amazing! My husband and son would both enjoy this.

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  6. Just discovered you on House Hunters - your house is beautiful! Love the blog, too ;)

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  7. I love your recipes! I had pinned your banana pudding a long time ago and just revisited the link because I'm planning on making it tomorrow for our Memorial Day party. And, to my surprise, I've made the connection that I think I watched you on House Hunters a few nights back! You were super cute and well spoken on the episode and it was fun to watch! I hope you're having a great long weekend!

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  8. YUM! I'm definitely trying this one out. My 2 year old would love it :)

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  9. all your recipes look so good!!! Definitely going to try them ;)

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  10. I tried this last week and I must say that it's delish! I had a couple friends over and we all chowed down :)

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