Family dinners at our house most often include pasta. Whether it's red sauce or white, fresh or baked, pasta is delicious and goes a long way. To make pasta dishes more satisfying I like to add protein and veggies whenever I can.
Since we eat pasta quite a lot I am always looking for new recipes. The baked pasta below was adapted from Jamie Oliver's, (I sure do enjoy his recipes) Chicken Leek and Pea Pasta Bake. This dish is easy to make, full of flavor and has quickly become a family favorite at my house.
Baked Pasta with Chicken & Peas
(adapted from Jamie Oliver)
1 tablespoon butter , plus extra for greasing
1 lb short pasta, I used large elbows
2 leeks, cleaned and roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup frozen peas
8 ounces cooked chicken, diced
1 cup milk
8 ounces ricotta cheese
Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9X12 baking dish. Cook your pasta, for slightly less than the recommend time on the box. You want it slightly undercooked. Drain and run under cold water to stop it from cooking further. Return to the saucepan and coat with a drizzle of olive oil.
Meanwhile, place the butter in a frying pan and gently fry the leeks for 10 minutes or until they’re soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock and wine, then cook for 8–10 minutes, or until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Add the peas, stir and cook for 30 seconds.
To the drained pasta, add the leek mixture, chicken, milk and two-thirds of the ricotta. Mix gently to combine and season with salt and pepper.
Spoon the pasta mixture into the baking dish. Top with the Parmesan, remaining ricotta and drizzle with olive oil, if you like. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until piping hot and starting to crisp up on top.