Chicken Spinach and Pea Pasta Bake

posted in: Balanced Meals | 0

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

1 tablespoon butter, plus extra for greasing

200g dried pasta, in your preferred shape

Olive oil

40g spinach leaves, or 2 big handfuls

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

100 ml chicken stock

100 ml white wine or vermouth (optional)

50 g frozen peas

100g chicken goujons

125 ml milk

1250g ricotta

30g any hard cheese, grated

 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a small baking dish.
  2. Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente: still slightly hard in the middle. Drain the pasta and run under cold water to stop it from cooking further.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, take a griddle pan or frying pan and place over a low heat. To this add the butter and allow to melt gently. Add the chicken strips and fry on both sides for 8-10 minutes or until cooked throughout. When cooked, set a side.
  4. Return to the saucepan and coat with a drizzle of olive oil. To this add the garlic followed by the rinsed spinach leaves and peas. Allow to soften for a few minutes and then add the stock and (optional) wine or vermouth. Cook for another 10 minutes. Drain any excess fluid – the spinach will wilt considerably and expel a lot of water.
  5. Take the drained pasta and add it to the spinach mixture, chicken, milk and two thirds of the ricotta. Mix gently to combine and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Spoon the pasta mixture into the baking dish. Top with the cheese and remaining ricotta. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until piping hot and starting to crisp up on top.

This recipe works especially well if you use a pasta shape that catches the sauce and other ingredients, such as a shell or large tube. If you are using gluten free pasta you may need to boil it for less time: follow the instructions on the packet.

This recipe makes at least 2 generous portions, so you could try freezing any portions that you don’t plan to eat within two days, providing a healthy and balanced ready meal for another day. Just remember to defrost your meal in the fridge for at least 12 hours.