Wednesday, December 18, 2013

baked pasta curls with chicken, sun-dried tomatoes and broccoli

It has been a while since I made a baked pasta. I only need to make enough food for two tonight so I thought a baked pasta would be a good way to go because it is simple and quick to cook, the kids always finish their portions, and I can make everything in one pot. Okay, two pots if you count the pot for cooking the pasta as well!

I bought these cute little casserole dishes from this really nice man who operates mobile stalls around Singapore. They were really cheap, and are perfect for single portions!

To start, I cut the broccoli into small florets and blanched them in boiling water for 2 minutes. Over-cooked broccoli is nasty, so do not be tempted to leave the broccoli in the water for more than 2 minutes! The broccoli was then drained and set aside.

I also diced a small onion and sliced some mushrooms. These were set aside.

 I chopped the sun-dried tomatoes and diced the chicken breast.

In a large pot, I cooked the pasta according to the manufacturer's instructions, taking 2 minutes off the recommended cooking time. The pasta was then drained and set aside.

In a Dutch oven, I heated some olive oil and sauteed the onions for about 2 minutes, until they were soft and slightly translucent. I added garlic and cooked for another 30 seconds.

I added the chicken and cooked until the chicken had turned white. Then I added mushrooms and the sun-dried tomatoes.

Once the chicken was cooked through, I added broccoli, chicken stock and cream.

I seasoned with salt and ground black pepper, and thickened the sauce with a corn starch slurry.

The cooked pasta was added to the sauce, and stirred through to mix. If the sauce is too thick, add some pasta water to thin it to your preferred consistency.

I spooned the pasta and sauce into casserole dishes and sprinkled some grated Parmesan and extra black pepper on top.

I baked the pasta until the cheese had turned golden brown.

I served this immediately.

Baked Pasta Curls with Chicken, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Broccoli (Serves 2)

300g pasta curls or any of your choice
1 chicken breast, diced
1/2 broccoli, cut into small florets
4-5 pieces sun-dried tomato, chopped
7-8 pieces brown mushroom, sliced
1 small onion, diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup cream
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Cook pasta according to the manufacturer's instructions, taking 2 minutes off the recommended cooking time. Drain pasta and set aside. Cook broccoli in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside as well.
2. Saute onions for 2-3 minutes, until they become soft and slightly translucent. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
3. Add chicken and cook until chicken becomes white. Add mushroom and sun-dried tomato. Stir to mix.
4. When chicken is cooked through, add broccoli, chicken stock, cream, salt and pepper.
5. If sauce is too runny, add corn starch slurry to thicken to desired consistency. If sauce is too thick, add some pasta water to thin it.
6. Mix pasta with sauce, transfer to smaller casserole dishes, if desired, top with Parmesan and extra pepper.
7. Bake at 220C for 5-10 minutes, or until cheese becomes golden brown.
8. Serve immediately.

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