This latest creation went down a treat among my family – a comforting, creamy pasta bake! I love using broccoli in recipes, and its the key vegetable in this dish. You could make this dish vegetarian by subbing two 400g tins of chickpeas for the chicken also – I’ll definitely be trying it out myself soon!
Recipe (Serves 6 people)
- 1 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp each oregano and dried thyme
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 1 white onion
- 2 cups of broccoli florets
- 2 big handfuls of spinach leaves
- 400g of wholewheat penne pasta
- 100g of grated mature cheddar cheese
- 400ml of milk
- 5 chicken breasts, diced into small pieces
- Peel and dice up your onion and garlic cloves before you get started, and wash the spinach leaves. Wash the broccoli and chop the bigger florets into smaller pieces.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C (fan oven).
- Set a pot of water to boil for your pasta and cook according to the package instructions.
- While your pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a second pot, then add the onion, garlic and broccoli. Cook for 3-4 mins until the onions are translucent.
- Add the herbs, and cook for another 2 minutes to coat the veg in them.
- Next, add the diced chicken, and cook until the chicken is fully cooked through (the pieces should be a little browned).
- Add the flour, then the milk, + 1/3 of the grated cheddar, and stir to combine until you’ve got thickened liquid the chicken and veg will simmer in.
- Turn the heat all the way down and give this a couple of minutes to simmer.
- Drain the pasta, and add it to the pot of chicken/veg, one big spoonful at a time. Mix the pasta in well so it is coated in the liquid too.
- When you’ve added all the pasta, take a rectangular baking dish (square is fine but you may not fit all the mix in!) and add the pasta/chicken/veg mix in.
- Smooth out the top, sprinkle the remaining 2/3 of the cheddar on top, and pop the dish into the oven!
- Bake for 10 minutes until the cheese on top is golden and a teensy bit crisp in parts (you don’t want it to burn, so watch it carefully and take it out earlier than 10 minutes if needed!)
- Give the bake a couple of mins to stand, then dish up and tuck in!
Enjoy guys! Tag me if you try this recipe out – @theirishbalance on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook!
Ciara 🙂 x