Italian Penne Rigate

I love Italian food, but not always the comatose feeling that follows dishes such as lasagna, baked ziti, etc. I found this recipe in Giada's "Everyday Italian" cookbook and was incredibly pleased with the taste and lightness. It was very easy to put together and this has become Justin's new favorite. (I think he says that about everything, but has already requested it again.) The only thing I would do differently next time is I will probably add more chicken. I definitely recommend this for a weeknight meal!

Italian Penne Rigate

1 cup penne rigate (or any small pasta - the original recipe called for pastina)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes)
1/2 cup small onion, diced
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 Tbsp. butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more.

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

Place the mixture in a buttered 8x8 baking dish. In a small bowl, mix together the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture and dot the top with small bits of butter.

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

Source: Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis


Mrs. Walk said...

This sounds really good--I'm definitely going to try this one. I think the husband will love it! I bet you could sub sausage for the chicken, too.

Mrs. Walk said...

I made this this weekend and the husband went crazy over it. He definitely wants me to make it again. The only real change I made was I forgot to buy an onion, so I just mixed in onion powder with the garlic powder. I think next time I will bake it a few minutes less, because some of the noodles got too crunchy on top. But it was great, and it made the house smell amazing!

Kara said...

I made this with sausage last night - it was so good! I'm having leftovers for lunch today :)