Friday, 16 May 2008

Chicken Squash Pasta Bake

1 tablespoon butter
1 yellow onion
a splash of white wine (optional)
1 clove garlic
18 ounces (about 2 cups) of
   squash or pumpkin puree
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons sage
a pinch of nutmeg 
black pepper to taste

1 lb. uncooked pasta
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken
   breasts
1 cup Mozzarella or other white melty cheese
¼ cup Parmesan cheese

crumbled, cooked bacon (as much or little as you want)
1 cup of boiled brussel sprouts cut in half 
1 large zucchini cut into bite size pieces and fried 
parsley & paprika for topping

  • Cook the pasta according to package directions, stopping a little early so they are still firm enough to hold their shape in the oven. Drain and set aside. 
  • Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil and add the chicken, cooking for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink. Remove from the water; when cool enough to handle, shred the chicken.
  • Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Chop the onion and add to the melted butter in the pan. Keeping the heat on medium-low, cook the onions until they are caramelized and deep golden brown, about 20-30 minutes. You can add a splash of white wine as they're cooking to get a little extra sweetness.
  • Towards the end of caramelizing the onions, add your cooked/cut brussel sprouts and chopped zucchini and continue frying until all is cooked.
  • Puree the garlic, squash/pumpkin, chicken broth, milk, olive oil, salt, sage, nutmeg, and pepper in a blender until smooth. Add to the caramelized onions and veggies in the pan and cook until heated through.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Toss the cooked pasta, chicken, and bacon with the squash/pumpkin sauce and ½ cup Mozzarella cheese. 
  • Transfer to a greased 9x13 baking dish, top with remaining cheese and cover with greased foil to prevent sticking. 
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling. 
  • Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and paprika and let stand a few minutes before serving.