Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ooey Gooey Chicken Pasta

Looking for recipes to fill my menu for the week, I stopped by Lauren's blog and saw her post for this recipe.  Once I stopped looking at her adorable then toddler son gobbling it up, I decided to go for it this week. 

I wanted to make it on Tuesday night.  But I hadn't cooked the chicken in advance.  Wednesday, I had the chicken all cooked, but got home way too late for the cooking time to have dinner ready in time to get the boys to bed before any meltdowns.  So, it was finally ready tonight (which also gave me time last night to get the chicken shredded).  A comedy of errors of sorts.

This is really just a simplified baked ziti, with the addition of chicken and with no eggs.  It was really tasty, though, like Lauren, I didn't have enough sauce and so it was sort of on the dry side.  I also ended up with some crunchy pasta, and wonder if covering it with foil would have resolved that issue.

So, this is a great starting point recipe that allows you to just go wild and suit your own tastes.  Got Thanksgiving leftovers?  Turkey would probably work great here instead of chicken.  I had leftover mushrooms in the fridge, and considered adding them to this; would have been great! 

One change I'd make, though, is to saute the onions and garlic in some oil first to soften them up (or if I'd added those mushrooms or peppers or anything else a little on the hard side). 

The recipe originally comes from My Sweet Life.

Baked Chicken Pasta
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 large jar of spaghetti sauce
1 lb box of pasta
3/4 cup of ff ricotta cheese
1-2 cups of shredded cheese (I used mozzarella)

Bake chicken (covered) on 350 for one hour.  Let chicken cool and then pull apart with fingers. I usually cook the chicken the night before, shred it and throw in the fridge. Cook pasta as directed. In a sauce pan, add shredded chicken and spaghetti sauce (I put enough to cover the chicken plus some) and whatever spices you like (I used garlic, onion, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper). Simmer on low-med until warmed through. Drain and pour pasta into your baking dish. Add ricotta cheese and mix into hot noodles. Pour spaghetti sauce mixture over pasta and mix in. Top with shredded cheese. Bake on 350 for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

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