Recipes from the Past {6} - Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina

This was one of the very first recipes my college roommate (Kendragon) & I made together our senior year. It was quite tasty. So much, in fact, that when I was in Chicago, I offered our apartment to serve an Entree for the progressive dinner we had. Three rooms took appetizers, three rooms (including mine) took entrees and three took dessert. I like to think ours was one of the best of the night. We also served Caesar salad. SO GOOD!

Recipe from the Past {6} - Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina

from August/September 2009

1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta)
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup cubed chicken breast
½ cup diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5-oz) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup shredded mozzarella
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup bread crumbs
¼ cup grated Parmesan
1 tbsp butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl.

Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Place the mixture in a buttered 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

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