Now that my husband as welcomed pasta back into his diet, I can now serve him a pasta dish! This is huge people. When I first met him and we moved in together, I couldn't serve any noodles. No angel hair, no penne, nothing! So, for me to now be able to serve a dish where pasta is the main ingredient is Earth shattering.
When I first decided to make this, I saw the casserole dish in the photo and automatically assumed this equation: casserole = quick. This wasn't exactly quick, but it was worth every minute! The original recipe did not call for pancetta, but I figured it would be a nice addition and help break up the heavy creaminess of all the cheese. It was the perfect balance of meat/cheese/noodle ratio and the husband loved it! It also reheated great for lunch the next day.
-6 tablespoons butter
-1 box penne pasta
-1 teaspoon EVOO
-2 boneless chicken breasts, butterflied
-1/4 pound pancetta, sliced thick and diced
-1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
-6 garlic cloves, minced
-6 cups whole milk
-1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
-1 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
-salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400. Grease a 9x13 casserole dish. Cook pasta as directed.
2. While pasta is cooking, heat EVOO over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Season butterflied chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and garlic powder cook until about 5 minutes per side, or until no longer pink inside. Remove from pan and shred. While the pan is still hot, add in the diced pancetta and cook 5-6 minutes.
3. In a large pot melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and garlic cloves. Cook and whisk for 1 minute. While whisking , gradually add milk and bring mixture to a simmer. Thicken sauce for about 2-3 minutes, (don't stop whisking!!) If your sauce has not thickened at this point, either add flour or cornstarch 1 tablespoon at a time. (Seriously, if your sauce isn't thick at this point it needs to be or it will remain watery). Take the pan off the heat and and gradually stir in mozzarella and Parmesan.
4. Add chicken, pancetta, and pasta to pot and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour into casserole dish (it's going to be VERY full) and bake 25 minutes. Broil 5 minutes to crisp cheese on top.
Source: Real Mom Kitchen