My little sister Bree recently received an English assignment that asked her to make a family cook book including recipes your family eat and enjoy. Luckily for her, her big sister runs a blog that includes many of her favourite recipes!! She pulled a few of her favourite recipes off the blog (Parmesan risotto, risotto balls, egg salad sandwiches, cake pops, nutella sandwich cookies etc) but really wanted to make her favourite - Pagalday Pasta Bake.
She helped me make it for dinner that night and we took a few pictures to show you. Also, can you see my Mothership's dog Genevieve photo bombing? hehe.
Pagalday Pasta Bake is a recipe I invented one night when cooking for my family. My siblings like completely different things so its hard to cook something that everybody likes. This recipe, however, is every bodies favourite and I always make double the amount of what we need to ensure everybody gets seconds!
500g packet of pasta, we used penne but I also like this with macaroni, bow ties or the curly ones (I know, I'm just soooooo specific haha)
4 chicken breasts
1 leek (whites only), diced
8 rashers of bacon, diced
2 zucchini's, chopped (we also sometimes add mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower and whatever else is in the vegetable crisper)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup peas
1 cup corn kernels
Olive oil or butter (your choice)
6 large hand fulls of grated tasty cheddar cheese
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup plain flour
4 cups milk
Salt and pepper
1. Set a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to packet instructions. You want your pasta to be al-dente as you are going to finish it off in the oven. Rinse pasta very thoroughly and set aside.
2. In a large fry pan, cook the chicken breasts until golden on the outside & cooked through. Shred the meat with two forks & set aside.
3. In the fry pan, add the zucchini, bacon, leek and garlic to some butter and oil. Fry off in the pan until leeks are soft and bacon is cooked. You can add a half glass of white wine at this point for extra flavour if you're into that kind of thing (I usually am). Set mixture aside.
4. In a sauce pan (we use the same one we cooked the pasta in) melt the butter on medium heat. Once butter in melted, add the plain flour & stir to make a roux. Slowly add the milk, whisking the whole time, until you have a smooth & thick white sauce. You may need to add more flour/milk depending on the consistency. Add 4 hand fulls of cheese, salt and pepper and stir. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
5. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Add the pasta, chicken and vegetable mix to the white sauce. Add in the peas and corn (we use frozen) and mix thoroughly. Spoon mixture into baking dishes (at our house it fills up two) and top with remaining cheese. Bake in the oven until the cheese on top is golden. Serve with a garden salad or on its own.
I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine does!