I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! Can you believe that Christmas is just around the corner, as in...this weekend!? I really hope I'm not stressing you out even more than you already are. I have a few more gifts to pick up after work and I think we are set. That is, after Mr. Schwartz wraps them up--he is pretty skilled in that area.
But, with all of the hustle and bustle I thought I would start of this week with a quick pasta dish that comes together in a snap, Four Cheese Pasta with Seasoned Chicken. This recipe is from my good friend, Melissa. She made it once for me and ever since I have been completely smitten. Nothing says delish like cream and cheese right? Since then, Melissa wrote out the recipe for me and it has gone missing so I just eyeball and estimate all of the ingredients. I made it a few weeks ago for my college roommates when they came over for dinner. Since I had everything I figured I might as well double it and put a pan of it in the freezer for when my family came to dinner over the weekend. I was sure glad I did since all I had to do was thaw it over night in the fridge and it was good to go into the oven the next day. Talk about a time saver.
I do have one small disclaimer, I was entertaining while finishing off this dish so I have to apologize that I missed a few pictures. Sorry, but you will get the gist. Also, note that the recipe at the bottom is only for one batch of this and not two. To make two full baking dishes of pasta, double the recipe.
Happy Monday and enjoy!
Musical Selection: Set Fire to the Rain by: Adelle. Mel loves her some Adelle, seems only fitting.
See, just coat it. After, cover and place in the fridge until you are ready to cook it.
The next day, preheat the oven to 350 and bake the pasta for about 30 minutes or so until it is bubbly and all the way heated through. Please note that you will not need to cook it that long if you are making this the same day.
For the chicken, obviously I forgot to take a picture of the cooking process, but, all you do is preheat your frying pan on medium with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the chicken to the pan and cook on both sides until the middle is no longer pink.
Place the chicken on top of the pasta bake and grate additional parmesan cheese on top. Put the whole thing back into the oven for about 5 minutes and serve!
Add some more cheese on top. Why not?!
Yep. Thanks for an awesome dish M!
Famous Four Cheese Pasta with Seasoned Chicken
For the Pasta:
1 pound penne (or noodle of your choice)
1 tablespoon butter
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 container ricotta cheese
1 package pizza blend cheese
½ cup parmesan cheese + additional for topping
¼ cup gorgonzola cheese
1 ½ cup heavy cream
1 ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
Dried parsley, for garnish
For the Chicken:
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tablespoons Montreal Chicken Seasoning
1 tablespoon (or so) olive oil
The evening before (if you can) butterfly the chicken breasts (click here if you need further instruction) so that you have 6 pieces of chicken. Drizzle each side with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.
The following day: Cook pasta short of al dente. You want to make sure it is not fully cooked since you will be finishing it off in the oven.
While the pasta is cooking, mince up the garlic and add to a small sauté pan with the butter. Brown the garlic but be careful not to burn it, it can turn on you very fast.
Pour the pasta back into the pasta pot. Add the ricotta, ½ of the package of pizza blend, parmesan and gorgonzola cheeses along with the heavy cream, Italian seasoning, garlic with butter and salt and pepper. If the pasta is looking a bit dry, add a little more cream or milk.
Heavily spray a 9x13 (or equal sized) baking dish and add pasta. Top with remaining pizza blend cheese and additional parmesan.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly and the top is slightly browned. When there is about 15 minutes left for the pasta to bake, take the chicken out of the refrigerator and preheat a large skillet on medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Cook the chicken on both sides until it is no longer pink in the middle. It should take between 3-5 minutes per side depending on how thick the chicken is.
To serve, take pasta out of the oven and add chicken breasts to the top, sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese and dried parsley. Place back in the oven for about 5 minutes and serve.
Recipe slightly adapted from my buddy, Melissa.