Even though it's the middle of August, the temperatures here in Prague have been so low (yesterday it was 13 deg C/55 deg F!) it's been making me crave some hearty food! Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely not complaining about the weather! I would take this over heat and humidity any day! I'm just not a summer kinda girl. I like wearing sweaters and cardigans and would love mild weather all year round. So I'm enjoying my last few days of this weather before returning back to New Jersey! This following recipe for a Chicken & Mushroom Pasta Bake is great - comforting, hearty, easy and well, you can never go wrong with pasta! Serve it with a great salad and some garlic bread, and you have the perfect meal!
CHICKEN & MUSHROOM
(Adapted from Martha Stewart)
YOU WILL NEED:
6 tbs unsalted butter
1 lb penne pasta (you can use a different kind if you prefer something else)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, shredded
6 cups milk
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs all purpose flour
10 oz button mushrooms, sliced
6 oz shredded cheese (like Mozarella)
4 oz grated Parmesan cheese
1. First, prepare your chicken. You can prepare it whatever way you like - poach it, bake it, or saute it. Make sure it is well seasoned. Shred into bite size pieces.
2. Next, wipe your mushrooms dry, and slice them, set aside. In a large pot of salted water, cook your pasta until al dente.
3. Next, prepare your baking dish - you will need a 5 quart baking dish (or two smaller ones as I used), and preheat your oven to 375 F.
4. In a large pan, melt your butter, add flour and whisk for a minute. Then gradually begin adding your milk, continue whisking. Bring to a simmer (keep whisking) until sauce thickens. Season well with salt and pepper. Then take the pan off the stove and mix in your shredded cheese (reserve a little bit of Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top of your dish) and mushrooms, then pour into the pasta with the chicken and mix well.
5. Pour into your baking dish (or your two baking dishes) and sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese on top. Bake for about 25 - 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the dish is bubbling. Serve with fresh salad and garlic bread!
Hope you all love it! Bon Apetit!
On an unrelated side note, have you all seen Midnight in Paris yet??
If not, you definitely should! This Woody Allen movie is a really beautiful story, in which a man and his fiance travel to Paris and every night at midnight, he is transported back into the Paris of the 1920's, where he meets famous writers and artists of the time. I loved it, and it made me want to go back to Paris!
I will be linking to: