Saturday, June 19, 2010

Chicken Spinach Alfredo Ziti

This is a great dish for a casual dinner party because you can make it in advance and throw in the oven when needed; but it's also elegant enough to impress. My guests loved this - a creamy, cheesey pasta dish complete with chicken, spinach, and red peppers. This takes a little bit of time to prep, including cooking the chicken, but once it's done just keep in the fridge until about an half hour before you are ready to bake it. Take out so it comes to room temperature and bake according to the below directions. Served with a green salad and garlic bread, it's sure to be a hit!

Chicken Spinach Alfredo Ziti
Makes about 8 servings

1 pound ziti, cooked to slightly underdone, drained
4 tablespoons butter
2 large shallots, diced
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1/3 cup flour
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
small jar roasted red peppers, sliced (about 6-7 ounces)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 13 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray.

Place the cooked ziti in a large mixing bowl or pot and set aside. Heat the butter in a large skillet on low heat and add the shallots. Saute for 3 minutes, then add the chicken pieces, salt, and red pepper flakes. Turn the heat to medium and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring to brown the chicken evenly on all sides. Stir in the flour and cook on low for another 2 minutes. Whisk in the cheese and milk and cook on medium heat until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add to the bowl with the pasta.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in another large skillet on medium heat. Saute the garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add the spinach, salt, and nutmeg. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until spinach is heated, then add the red peppers and cook a few minutes more. Add to bowl with pasta and chicken.

Pour pasta mixture into prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until bubbly.


Jenn said...

Yummy! I'm making this soon!

Anonymous said...

hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day!

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

Oooh, I love roasted red peppers with pasta. I also love baked pastas so this dish is perfect on many levels :)

Mandy said...

Looks like a great meal for a weeknight - with our without guests!