Creamy Chicken pasta bakeCourse: Main CourseCuisine: europeanDifficulty: Medium
A truly scrumptious meal that can be prepared and cooked in under an hour. Full of flavour. Best make extra ‘cos they will come back for more.
250 g penne pasta or your choice
1 onion roughly chopped
3 skinless chicken breasts cut into thin strips
1 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the Sauce
50 g butter extra for sweating the onions and greasing
50 g plain flour
750 ml hot milk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
100 g Parmesan cheese coarsely grated
2 large tomatoes blanched skinned and deseeded
fresh parsley chopped to serve
- Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/420°F/Gas 7.
- Lightly grease a casserole dish
- Mise en Place (Pasta, Onions Chicken and Tomatoes)
- Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and place in the pasta. Use the pasta packet instructions for timing.
- Meanwhile, place a knob of butter in a frying pan and add the chopped onion.
- Sweat the onions off until soft and translucent. Do not overcook or allow to brown
- Set aside
- Blanch and skin the tomatoes
- Remove the core from the bottom of the tomato. Make a cross in the top of the tomato with a sharp knife and plunge into boiling water for 15 seconds.
- Remove the tomato from the water and plunge the blanched tomatoes into a bowl of iced water to bring back to room temperature.
- You can now peel the skin away quite easily.
- Cut the tomatoes in half through the equator (Around the middle) and with a teaspoon remove the seeds.
- Roughly chop the peeled and seeded tomatoes and set aside
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain and refresh under cold water and leave to drain in a colander.
- Place the paprika and a little salt and pepper in a fairly large bowl and add the chicken strips. Mix well so as to coat the chicken well with the paprika.
- Alternatively, place the chicken in a resealable freezer bag with the paprika and seasoning, seal the bag and shake it to coat the chicken.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan and quickly fry the chicken over a high heat for about 2 minutes until golden-brown and just cooked through.
- Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
- To Make the Creamy Sauce
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan, (you will need room to add the pasta later) add the flour and mix together with a wooden spoon to form a roux.
- Heat the milk to just below boiling
- Allow the roux to cook out for 1 minute, then using a whisk, gradually add the warmed milk, whisking continuously over a medium/high heat to avoid lumps. and you have a nice smooth creamy sauce.
- Let the sauce simmer for 3/4 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent it catching on the bottom, then stir in the mustard and half the cheese and season with salt and pepper.
- Bringing the dish together
- Add the pasta and onion to the sauce in the pan and stir together making sure it’s all well combined
- Spoon half this mixture into the baking dish, spread the chicken over the top and spoon the remaining pasta and sauce on top.
- Scatter over the chopped tomatoes and then top with the remaining cheese.
- Place in the oven and bake for about 20/25 minutes until piping hot and golden-brown.
- Finely chop a handful of fresh parsley and sprinkle over the top and serve