Sunday, July 7, 2013

Pasta Bakar/Baked Pasta Shells

Star Q

This is another simple dish that I prepared for a pot luck my friends and I had at the office the other day.  I actually made these a day in advance and kept them in the freezer.  Them?  I made five of the thing you see in the picture above!  I figured, since I was going to make something for my friends to eat, I might as well make sure they really eat!

I have always made pasta fresh on the day it is supposed to be eaten.  It seemed quite impossible for me to get up at four in the morning and prepare the pasta to take to the office so, that is the reason for making them a day ahead.  I never really entertained the idea of freezing food until of course I saw Ina Garten doing it in her show.  So, this is the result of the day-ahead-frozen and reheated pasta!

  • 10 cups cooked pasta shells
  • 400g ground chicken meat
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried chili flakes
  • 1 cup diced red and green capsicum
  • 1/2 cup finely diced black olives
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat the olive oil then, saute the onion till soft and translucent.  Stir in the garlic followed by the chicken and chili flakes.  When the chicken is cooked, add in the capsicum, olives and mushrooms.  Cook for about two minutes.  Next pour in the cream of chicken soup followed by the water.  Add the chicken stock cubes and season with salt and pepper.  Once the sauce is bubbling and has slightly thickened, stir in the cheese followed by the cooked pasta shells.

Place the mixture into individual dishes (like I did) or into a casserole.  Cook in a preheated 170 C oven for about 30 minutes until the top of the paste is slightly golden brown.  Or if frozen, thaw until pasta is at room temperature before baking.

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