Pasta and Strawberries = YUM!

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Brooke J. hosted wine night this week and the food was delicious.  She found a great pasta dish and introduced me to a new recipe website which is now one of my favorites.  The other is an always tempting Paula Deen cobbler (from her website) so start cooking!

Baked Chicken Penne (Freezer Meal)

  • 6 Tbsp butter, plus more for buttering dish (use Pam)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 lb penne rigate
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts, halved horizontally
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp flour
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 10 ounces white or cremini mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup sliced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded provolone (6 ounces) You can use 50/50 provolone/mozzarella as well.
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan (6 ounces)

 

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 400. Butter two shallow 2-quart baking dishes. If you’re going to freeze one, use a disposable foil pan.  In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 3 minutes short of al dente; drain pasta and set aside.

2. While pasta is boiling, heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Season chicken with salt and pepper; cook until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Halve each piece lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise.  While chicken pan is still hot, toss the mushrooms in and saute until golden brown (3-4 minutes).  Use a little extra olive oil if needed.

3. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot (I just use the pot I cooked my pasta in), melt butter over medium. Add flour and garlic; cook, whisking, 1 minute. While whisking constantly, gradually add milk; bring to a simmer.  Keep whisking frequently as sauce thickens, about 1 minute more. Add mushrooms and tomatoes; cook 1 minute. take the pan off the heat and gradually stir in provolone and 1/2 cup Parmesan.

4. Add chicken and pasta to pot; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide pasta mixture between baking dishes.  If freezing, place remaining parmesan cheese in a zip-top baggie.  If cooking, sprinkle on top.

5. Bake, uncovered, until top is golden and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Freezer Instructions:

To freeze, prepare through step 4 and then let pasta cool.  Cover pan well with plastic wrap.  Place extra cheese in baggie (for topping) on top and then cover entire pan well with foil.  Freeze for up to 3 months.  To bake, preheat oven to 400.  Remove foil and plastic from pan and set cheese baggie aside.  Place foil back on pan and bake for about 1 1/2 hours.  Remove foil, stir pasta, and top with cheese.  Return pan to oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until mixture is hot and bubbly throughout.

Strawberry Cobbler

  • 12 cups sliced fresh strawberries (4 lbs)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

 

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350º F.

In a large saucepan, combine strawberries and sugar. Let stand for 30 minutes. Cook strawberry and sugar mixture, stirring frequently, over medium heat for 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water until blended. Stir cornstarch mixture into strawberry mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil for 1 minute or until mixture is thickened. Spoon mixture into 6 (5 ounce) ovenproof ramekins. (or 8″ baking dish)

In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, oats, flour and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Divide mixture evenly over strawberry mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Serve warm.

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