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Baked Pasta with Creamy Peas, Chicken and Prosciutto

Baked Pasta with Creamy Peas, Chicken and Prosciutto

This is an easy, breezy sort of recipe that is cozy and familiar as an old pair of jeans. Classic comfort food full of kid-approved flavors and ingredients, making it perfect for a family meal.

Creamy Baked Pasta with Chicken, Prosciutto‏ and Peas

Baked Pasta with Creamy Peas, Chicken and Prosciutto

I used Gemelli (Italian for “twins”) noodles for this recipe. They are corkscrew-shaped, resembling two thick strands of spaghetti twisted together. Gemelli looks great in casseroles and salads and pairs well, though nearly any shaped pasta can be used in this wonderfully rich sauce.

Baked Pasta with Creamy Peas, Chicken and Prosciutto

Servings 6

INGREDIENTS:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts halves cut into bite-size pieces
6 slices prosciutto di Parma, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
2 cups cooking cream (15 % fat)
pinch nutmeg
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (35 g)
500 g Gemelli pasta, or pasta of your choice
1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (35 g)

METHOD:
1. Preheat oven to 425°F / 220° C. Lightly grease a 23 x 33 cm (9 x 13 inch) baking dish or lasagne pan.

2. Heat oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat. Season chicken with a little salt and pepper. Cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes or until pieces are lightly golden on all sides, add the prosciutto and cook another minute; transfer to a plate.

3. Add a 1/2 teaspoon more oil to the skillet, along with the shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the shallot is translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add butter; when it has melted, whisk in the flour. Add cream and whisk until smooth. Continue to cook until sauce thickens slightly.

4. Stir in salt, pepper, nutmeg and 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese. Reduce heat to minimum and stir occasionally.

5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook for 6 minutes (2 minutes less than the range given on the package; pasta should be a bit firmer than al dente). Drain pasta and rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking process.

6. Add peas to pasta pot and top with the pasta.

7. Add the chicken, prosciutto and sauce and stir until well combined.

8. Transfer to prepared pan, top with 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake pasta for 30 minutes, remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown. Then eat and enjoy!

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