I was sort of in a hurry, had some chicken in the fridge,and feeling uninspired, I quickly checked out Food Network's site. One of the dishes that came up was Giada's Chicken and Pastina. It's not really, the small tiny pastina you use in soup, but more of a baked dish with small noodles. I made a few changes, but I thought the dish was just OK - wasn't impressive, but was easy to throw together.
Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina
from Giada De Laurentiis
1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta) I used elbow pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes) I used 1 cup of chicken breast
1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
1 clove garlic, minced I added 2 cloves
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice I used a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, and pulsed a couple of times in a food processor
1 cup shredded mozzarella I used 1.5 cups
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley And I added 1.5 tbsp of dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan I used 1/2 cup
1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish I sprayed the baking dish with extra virgin olive oil spray
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl.
Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more.
Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Place the mixture in a buttered 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish.
In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.