Probably a year or two ago my friend Megan had Tommy and I over for dinner and cooked the most amazing meal. I, at the time not really EVER cooking anything myself, asked her to share her recipe thinking I would likely never use it. However, it has become my go-to recipe when I want a good meal that I can do quickly and with enough to share or freeze.
The recipe is Giada De Laurentiis’ Italian Baked Chicken Pastina, and we all know she can do her Italian.
I promise it will look this delicious in person.
- 1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta) – Megan used Cavatappi and it the best!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes)
- 1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl.
Meanwhile, put 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 the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Place the mixture in a buttered 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Let me know what you guys think. I love it and it is great with sautéed mushrooms or a salad! Enjoy!