When you have children, you know what I mean when I say that kids sometimes go through phases in which they are
picky selective in what they eat. It’s in those times that a recipe that hides some extra veggies is a great thing. Last year, when both boys decided to become a bit more selective in their culinary preferences, I found myself in that situation. I adapted the recipe below slightly by adding zucchini & carrots to it and guess what…the dish went down a treat. The kids requested seconds and once the oven dish itself had cooled off a bit, they started picking from it. Now, whereas that may not particularly portray good manners, to me as a mother, it is a compliment.
- 1 cup Pastina pasta (or any small pasta)
- 4 tbsp. Olive oil
- 1/2 zucchini, shredded
- 2 large Carrots, diced
- 1/2 cup Cubed chicken breasts (1-inch cubes)
- 1/2 cup Diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
- 1 Clove garlic, minced
- 1 (14.5-ounce) Can diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 cup Shredded mozzarella
- 1/4 cup Fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup Bread crumbs
- 1/4 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.
- Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a medium saute pan and sauté the carrots for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the carrots and set aside.
- Add the remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil to the same pan and heat 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, carrots and shredded zucchini 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.
(Recipe by: Giada de Laurentiis, adapted by Marieke, aka HRH Mommy)