Remember all that shredded mozzarella in my freezer? Thanks to Paula Dean, I have four cups less of it, and one very happily-fed family this evening. I suggest trying this fabulous pasta.
ITALIAN CHICKEN AND PASTA BAKE
1/4 cup butter
1 cup chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano (I couldn't find diced, so I used stewed tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, which I pureed in my blender before adding to the sauce)
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. ground black pepper
1/2 t. sugar
1 (16 oz) box bow-tie pasta, cooked and kept warm
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9 x 13 with cooking spray.
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook 5 or 6 minutes or until tender. Add flour, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in milk, tomatoes, and tomato sauce; cook for 5 or 6 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in chicken, 3 cups cheese, salt, pepper, and sugar. Stir in cooked pasta. Spoon mixture into prepared dish, sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
I followed the recipe exactly (other than the tomato switcheroo) and it was fantastic! Daniel asked me to make it again very soon. I served it with roasted broccoli. My kids devoured it. Thanks, Paula Dean.
By the way, did anyone ever make that Love By Chocolate Cake? If so, did you almost weep because it was so good? Just wonderin'.