Baked Penne with Chicken and Sun-dried Tomatoes

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You can find this recipe here.

6 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dishes
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound penne rigate
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (8 ounces each), halved horizontally
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups whole milk
10 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups shredded provolone (6 ounces)
1 cup finely grated Parmesan (4 ounces)

Preheat oven to 400. Butter two shallow 2-quart baking dishes. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 3 minutes short of al dente; drain pasta, and return to pot.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper; cook until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Halve each piece lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise.
In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, melt butter over medium. Add flour and garlic; cook, whisking, 1 minute. While whisking, gradually add milk; bring to a simmer, whisking frequently. Add mushrooms and tomatoes; cook 1 minute. Off heat, gradually stir in provolone and 1/2 cup Parmesan.
Add chicken and pasta to pot; season with salt and pepper. Divide pasta mixture between baking dishes; sprinkle each with cup Parmesan.
Bake, uncovered, until top is golden and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Prepare through step 4; let cool. Cover tightly with foil, and freeze, up to 3 months.
Preheat oven to 400, and bake (still covered in foil) on a rimmed baking sheet until center is hot, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove foil; bake until golden, about 15 minutes more.

One comment
  1. Okay. The picture doesn’t really make it look as good as it is! This was great. I had to salt it (a rarity for me) but it was wonderful. A few notes:
    I apparently got the Dolly Parton tray of chicken breasts at the store. So I only used about 1 and a quarter chicken breasts. Also, I realized 6 cups of milk is significant. Rather than take away from my son’s whole milk supply, I substituted 2 c. heavy whipping cream, 2 c. whole milk, and 2 c. 1% and figured that would even it out.
    Rather than use fresh parmesan, as much as I want to, it IS expensive, I used a cup from the good old green Kraft container. I was unable to find a pure Provolone shred, so I used a bag of Mozzarella/Provolone by Sargento.
    All in all, it was fantastic. Highly recommended. A nice change to the regular round of pasta, but not so far out there that it isn’t comforting.

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