I've promised to cook something for her long time ago and I finally got a chance to do it, so I was pretty excited.
After a bowl of hot steaming ramen for lunch, we went back to her place to make a chicken pasta bake.
This was an easy recipe I found at taste.com.au . I used their basic ingredients measurements for the sauce and pasta ratio and also the oven set up to make sure that the dish is just right.
The rest were mostly impromptu cooking.
"whatever we have, we put them in" - kind of cooking, which is my kind of cooking !
Here's that simple chicken pasta bake recipe!
Chicken Pasta Bake
serves 4-6 people
Adapted from Taste.com.au
- 300gr dried spiral pasta
- 2 cups of milk
- 40gr butter, and a little bit more for sauteeing the mushroom and brushing the casserole dish
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 2 cups perfect bakes shredded cheese (Perfect Italiano brand), with additional 1 cup to go on top
- 1 1/2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
- 250gr sliced button mushrooms
- 3/4 carrot, peeled and diced
- a few sprinkle of dried oregano
- salt and pepper
- oil for sautéing
- optional : 2 small cheese kranksy sausages, diced and fried
- optional : grated parmesan cheese to go on top
1. Preheat the oven to 220 Celsius. Brush a square (24x24 cm - 6 cm deep) casserole dish with melted butter, set aside.
2. Cook the pasta in salted water according to the recommended time in the packaging until al dente (make sure it doesn't go too mushy). When cooked, drain and set it aside
3. Heat some oil pan on medium heat, cook the chicken with a sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste until fully cooked and developed golden brown crust on the sides. Set it aside on a paper towel to remove excess oil and fat
4. With the same pan (and also medium heat), sautee the diced carrots for 3-4 minutes, set it aside. Then with the same pan again, sautee the sliced mushroom with a little bit of butter until brown, set it aside.
5. Onto the creamy cheese sauce, in a clean saucepan (low-medium heat), melt the 40gr of butter thoroughly and then add the plain flour. Mix until well combined and let it cook until it goes bubbly. Remove from heat and gradually add the milk while stirring it with a whisk. Put it back onto the heat and cook it for 3-4 minutes or until it turns thicker. When the sauce thickens, turn off the heat and add the 2 cups of shredded cheese. Mix until the cheese is melted through. Get on with the seasonings and herbs at this stage, suit it to your taste.
6. Combine the cooked pasta, chicken pieces, carrots, mushroom, sausages (if using) in a large bowl (use two bowls if one is not enough), and then pour the cheese sauce and then mix until all the pasta is coated with the sauce.
7. Gently tip over the creamy pasta mixture into the prepared casserole dish, sprinkle with more shredded cheese and grated parmesan (if using) and then bake for 15 minutes. When it's done, allow it to cool for a little bit and serve it warm.
The result was an absolute bliss!
Creamy, cheese pasta with crunchiness from the baked cheese on top, a super filling dish great on a rainy night like yesterday!
Ate a small portion of it with Pinka and Michelle last night and we were 3 happy bears.
This dish is very basic, I think it is there to be twisted, turned and tweeked in any way a person wants it.
Add other proteins, use other types of pasta, add other adventurous herbs and seasonings, the possibility is endless!
Extremely happy that Pinka finally got her cooking mode on again after being idle in the kitchen for a while. You better do some more cooking, young lady.
All and all, it was a great day to finally met with my 2 city friends ;) Been busy with our own life these few months, so it was a much needed reunion.
Much love from the suburban girl!