Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Healthy Baked Pasta

What do you think of when you hear baked pasta?
Lots of sauce and TONS of gooey cheese?
Well not tonight folks... This is my version of baked pasta... please don't take my Italian card till you taste it

Brian gave it a thumbs up!!!

I started off marinating the chicken breast while Brian and I got in a work out. 
Side Note: If you have a cast iron skillet USE IT! They are amazing and easy to clean!!! 

 I pan fried it for about 2 minutes on each side 
While watching the chicken chop up your veggies of choice. 
 I chose zucchini, fresh portabella mushrooms, and broccoli 

Then bake at 350 for about 8 min on each side

While chicken is baking start your pasta... Pasta of choice tonight: Mostaccioli :o)
Important pasta tip: Don't forget to season the water, its the only chance for your pasta to get seasoned. I used olive oil, salt and garlic in my water. 
When you remove the chicken from the oven place in a plate and keep all the juice in the cast iron skillet. 
and put your veggies in the skillet to saute. 
cook on med heat, stir frequently
 De-glaze skillet using white wine (you can use red... I had Pinot in the fridge)
Once your veggies are at desired tenderness remove from heat and place on a plate. DON'T GET RID OF SAUCE!!! Place in a small bowl for later use :o)
Once  all components are complete it is ready to bake! Guess what... you are still using the skillet! I love easy clean up. 
Now you are going to layer all components and add the cheese (my favorite part) 
1. Pasta
2. Chicken
3. Veggies (I added artichoke hearts in as well... I LOVE artichokes)
4. Goat Cheese Mmmmmmmm
5. Half of the sauce you saved from the chicken and veggies
6. Panko... Gotta have crunch on baked pasta

Sprinkle goat cheese around skillet no need to smother 
Repeat for another layer. I topped this layer with panko again and shredded Piave Oro (cheese) that I brought back to Orlando from my last trip home to PA. You can sub. any hard cheese such as Pecorino or Parmesan.
Bake in 350 oven for 15-20 min or until the shredded cheese becomes a bit crispy. 

The end result gives you a delish baked pasta without all the calories. 

 I 'd say it was a hit... I guess you will have to try. 
La desidero mangiare sano!!! 


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