It’s Time.  Time to get back into the academic or fall routine, even though the calendar doesn’t become autumn until Saturday September 23, this year.  School is starting and Pumpkin Spice Latte’s are now available in the coffee shops.  Go on, wear the shorts, skorts and sandals while soaking every last bit of summer and the warmer temps.  As the days get shorter, dinners seem to get heartier to nourish us for more scheduled days and chillier days. Here’s one of those meals that I predict the people who gather around your table may just ask for a second helping.  It would also make a good Encore Meal that would make a nice appearance in the next day’s lunch should there be any left over. I recently spotted this recipe from Irish food personality, Clodaugh McKenna.  Her version was in metric units, so I converted it to our system of cups, ounces and table/teaspoons and I made a few other changes to hers. The pasta I used is a new shape I had not head of before call SHELLBOWS, but any macaroni product would work.  I used pine nuts to top before cooking along with the bread crumbs.  If you don’t have pine nuts try some ground walnuts.  Here You Go!

Chicken cooked, adding onion and garlic...Blanching or cooking in the microwave for about 1 minute.



  -2 tablespoons olive oil

  -2 boneless and skinless chicken breast filets, cut into 1 inch cubes

  -1 cup white onion chopped

  -5 ounces macaroni (I used SHELLBOWS)

  -3 cloves garlic, minced

  -3.5 Tablespoons unsalted butter

  -3 1/2 tablespoons unbleached flour

  -2 1/4 cups milk (I used skim, low-fat or whole are all good too)

  -5 ounces grated Parmesan cheese

  -12 thinly slice fresh basil leaves

  -3/4 pound little broccoli florets blanched (or put in a glass mixing bowl  or     dish with a little water, cover with a paper towel and cool in the               microwave for 1 minute.

  -3 ounces breadcrumbs

  -2 ounces lightly toasted pine nuts (or ground walnuts) toast 2-4 minutes             while oven is preheating.  Watch and do not let burn.

  -coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Making a roux in pictures.


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook pasta, drain and set aside ready  to go.  Use either a Dutch oven or stockpot.  Heat olive oil and add chicken pieces seasoning with salt and pepper.  Cook 2-3  minutes until done, seasoning with salt and pepper.  Add the chopped onion cook an additional 2-3 minutes.  Add the garlic, cook 1 additional minute.  Set aside.

2.  Melt unsalted butter in a large sauce pan over low heat.  Add the  flour and make a roux, using a whisk.  Add the milk a little at a time with heat very low or off.  DO NOT USE HIGH HEAT.  Continue to whisk adding a little milk at a time until all milk is blended in.  When the mixture is creamy, off the heat and add the Parmesan and fold in as cheese melts.

Addding your macaroni/pasta, chicken basil and broccoli, then season with salt and pepper.

3.  Now add in the chicken, the basil, the macaroni and the blanched/        cooked lightly broccoli.  Blend all gently and pour mixture into a Pyrex rectangular dish or 2 smaller bakers.  Top with  bread crumbs and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.

It's easy to make your own bread crumbs in your blender. Toast your favorite bread, let it cool then pulse in the blender. After pouring blended roux mixture with cooked chicken, basil, broccoli and pasta into your baking dish (or two smaller bakers), sprinkle with bread crumbs and toasted pine nuts and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. 

4.  Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.

This is the Delallo " Shellbow" pasta I mentioned using. Any pasta of similar size will work...For more simple and delicious recipes and ideas, checkout my book, available here on the website...Wishing you a Marvelous Monday!