Baked Penne with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Posted by Brette in Food

I’ve been through March Martha Stewart Living and this issue is primarily about gardening. I’m not a great gardener by any means, so I do want to learn from it, but it’s winter in Buffalo with snow on the ground. There isn’t going to be any gardening to be done around here for months yet, so Martha has left me with not much to do in this issue! Therefore, I have turned to Everyday Food and will be making several recipes from there this month.

The recipe for Baked Penne with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes looked good and it looked pretty easy. That is until I went to the pantry and discovered the box of penne I have is more than half empty, so I substituted rigatoni. A small cheat.

Now, can I just say that my definition of easy, everyday cooking does not involve three pots for one dish? In this recipe you’re supposed to cook the pasta in one, cook the chicken breast in another, and make the sauce in a third. That’s a lot of clean up in my opinion.

Despite that, this was a snap to make. I boiled the noodles and while they drained, I made the sauce in that pot (thus getting down to 2 pots which definitely made me happier!). The sauce was quite easy to make – cook garlic and flour in butter ( used half olive oil and half butter – trying to be heart healthy!). Then whisk in milk (I always use skim milk instead of the whole milk Martha uses in every recipe and never have a problem). Next you add mushrooms and sundried tomatoes, then cheese. Add the chicken and pasta, put it in a dish, sprinkle some cheese over it, and in it goes into the oven.

I cut this recipe in half – Martha wants you to make two pans of it and freeze one. I love doing that, but I won’t do it with a new recipe because then you could end up with double the amount of inedible food!

chicken-penneI regretted that decision though because this was DELICIOUS! Really, truly fabulous. I was a little nervous when I scooped the first spoonful out (which is when I remembered to take the photo, so pardon the messy area), because at first it seemed like it might be a little runny, but it actually was not.

This was creamy, cheesy and just perfect. I usually do not like sundried tomatoes, but in this recipe they worked wonderfully. I think I might like a little more chicken than it contains. There is only one chicken breast in the whole pan, so increasing that would make this feel a little more like a main dish. I cannot wait to have leftovers for lunch today.

So now kids, this is what I’m wondering. This is one of my first forays into Everyday Food and it was a home run (truly a “good thing”). Do we think maybe those recipes are better in general? What are your thoughts?

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