Chicken and green veg baked pasta. I’m not normally a fan of chicken with pasta, it feels weird, but there was leftover roast chicken in the fridge that needed to be used, some veg from a shoot on Monday, I had pasta in the cupboard and milk coming out of my ears, so here we are. Henry loves this sort of creamy, cheesey stodge, (as does his dad), and it’s a good way of getting veg into him. Although he fed most of tonight’s portion to the dog. Hmmm. I did a salad on the side for the grown-ups but it’s a meal in itself so you don’t really need anything else. I was surprised by how much I liked it…maybe chicken and pasta isn’t so weird after all…
Chicken and greens baked pasta
Serves 4 adults, or a family with leftovers
250g pasta shapes
50g unsalted butter
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 courgette, chopped small
100g mushrooms, chopped small
3 heaped soup spoons plain flour
1tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1.2ltr milk (whole is best, semi-skimmed is fine)
200g green veg – I used tenderstem broccoli and asparagus
200-250g shredded cooked chicken
50g strong cheddar, grated
Parmesan, to grate on top
1 Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan, and put the pasta onto boil in salted water. Cook for a couple of minutes less than the pack instructions, then drain and set aside.
2 Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large sauté or saucepan and add the onion, garlic, courgette and mushrooms. Cook over a medium high heat, stirring often, for 7-8 minutes until the veg has softened. Stir through the flour, mustard powder and nutmeg, and stir everything together for a couple of minutes, making sure the flour doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat up and start to add the milk slowly, in small batches, stirring constantly. The mixture should thicken and stay thick enough to coat a spoon – don’t add the milk too quickly and keep it bubbling while you’re cooking it.
3 Once the milk has been added, stir through the greens, chicken, cheddar, pasta and a little seasoning. Tip into an ovenproof dish, grate a good amount of parmesan over the top and bake for 30 minutes. Serve immediately, or portion up to freeze.