Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Chicken & Bacon Pasta Bake

Finally.... January is over! It was the longest month ever with all those snow days, indoor kids and cold & cough season. I am not kidding myself, February can be brutally cold and bad too but the idea that spring is approaching and one cold month gone really makes my mood and days better. Even looking at the calendar with only 28 days can give me comfort.

The news on TV recently reported on what the survey people predicted on the trend towards eating in this depressing economy situation. Sometimes I wonder, who the hell needs all these surveys, I mean.... don't we all know that sugary and sweet food makes us fat and fast food chains have always been associated with unhealthy choices of food and its much publicized inexpensive meals? Talking about nanny states, America is certainly one. And blaming it on the economy for getting us all waistline expanded and unhealthy just don't make sense to me! It just bears a bad sign on us human.... neither good in money management nor choices in lifestyle. Eating healthy even in this situation is a no brainer thing....switch to water instead of soda, buy fresh ingredients rather than processed food with costs of packaging added to the price, invest in a slow cooking pot and make the best stew which is a time saver for those who complain they have no time like me. Sacrifices need to be made in certain times and those indulgences can still be enjoyed once in a while but good health is really a non-negligible item that we can take for granted!

Initially I planned to make this pasta dish for a playdate today but all our guests were sick. I made it anyway, enough for lunch and dinner. I am a very big fan of one pot meals and once in a while I get very lazy to cook dinner after the whole day with the kids alone. As you may have noticed, I couldn't wait till summer to taste the strawberries and just had to get a box when I saw them at the grocery store. Surprisingly, they were sweet and juicy. To make a complete meal, I cut up some cherry tomatoes and serve it with salad leaves. As the pasta was already creamy, I didn't add anymore dressing to the salad.


Ingredients:


1 can of cream of Mushroom
4 cups of cooked Rigatoni shaped pasta
1/2 cup of frozen peas
2 chicken thigh meat, cut to small pieces
6 strips of bacon slices
pepper & salt
1/2 cup grated cheese



Method:

1) Heat some cooking oil in a pan. Put in the bacon and saute for 1 minute. Add in the chicken and toss thorougly till combined and cook for 5 minutes.

2) Add in the frozen peas and mix. Add pepper & salt. Cover pan and let cook for another 5 minutes.

3)Add in the pasta, mushroom cream and 1/2 of the grated cheese. Mix thoroughly and let simmer for 5 minutes.

4)Preheat oven to 375F. Dish up the pasta & cream mixture into a baking dish, distributing the chicken and bacon pieces evenly. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes.

5)Towards the last 10 minutes, remove foil, scatter the remaining cheese on top of the pasta and continue to cook without the foil covering in the oven.

6)Remove from oven and serve hot or warm with salad.

Serves : 4 persons

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