Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Chicken and vegetable pasta with béchamel sauce

I really love pasta with béchamel, it is light, creamy, cheesy and oh so yummy! I hope you enjoy making this simple recipe, and enjoy even more digging into it!

  • Skill level: Easy
  • Serves: 8-10 people
  • Preparation time: 45 mins
  • Oven time: 35-40 mins
What you will need:

For the chicken and vegetables

1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 large boneless chicken breast (or two small ones), cut into bitesize cubes
3 carrots, peeled and cut into small pieces
1/2 cup sweetcorn
1/2 cup peas
1/2 tbsp salt
1/4 tbsp black pepper
1/2 tbsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp mixed herbs
1/2 tbsp oregano
1 red bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped
handful of chopped olives
1 chicken stock cube - optional
1/2 cup boiling water

For the béchamel sauce

5 tbsp unsalted butter
1 chicken stock cube - optional
5 tbsp plain flour
2 + 1/2 cup milk (around 750ml)
1/4 tbsp salt
1/4 tbsp white/black pepper
1/2 cup cheddar cheese (+ extra for topping)
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (+ extra for topping)

For the pasta

boiling water
1/2 tbsp salt
500g pasta (of your choice)

How to make:

1) In a pot, add the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Once the butter melts, add the onions and the minced garlic. Cook for 5 mins to soften

2) Add the chicken, and mix until the chicken gains colour for around 5-7 mins

3) Add the carrots, mix and leave for a further 5 mins

4) Add the sweetcorn and peas, mix. Cook for a few mins before adding the salt, pepper, cinnamon, smoked paprika, mixed herbs and oregano. Mix.

5) Add the bell pepper, olives and the optional chicken stock cube, followed by some boiling water. Mix then cover over medium/low heat for 10-15 mins or until the vegetables have softened

6) Meanwhile, in a separate pot, melt the butter under medium heat. Once melted, add the optional chicken stock cube and mix until no lumps. Add the flour and mix very well for a few minutes until mixture is smooth. Add the milk, salt and pepper, and continue mixing until the mixture thickens up. Test by placing a line through the back of the spoon, if that line stays, the mixture is thick enough. Add the cheddar and mozzarella cheese and continue mixing until they melt then remove off heat

7) In the meantime, cook your pasta for 7 mins in the another pot with enough salted boiling water to cover the pasta and cook over medium heat. Drain when cooked

8) To assemble, in your oven proof serving dish, place the drained pasta. Mix in a little bit of the béchamel sauce to coat the pasta. Place the layer of the chicken and vegetable mixture on top, then top with the remaining béchamel sauce. Top with more cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese, and a sprinkle of oregano

9) Cover with foil and place into the oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 20 mins, then uncover and leave for a further 10-15 mins or until the top has turned golden

This is something perfect for the family, really delicious! I hope you enjoy :)

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