Believe it or not, a hotdish is defined as a casserole that includes a protein, starch and usually canned soup. As you can imagine, I am way past the days of using canned soup in recipes because I find it is just as easy to make a sauce from scratch with a lot less additives. However, I do like the concept of a hotdish because it contains all the ingredients of a good meal.
Chicken Alfredo is a popular pasta dish in most Italian restaurants – rich cream sauce layered over seared chicken breasts or sliced pieces of poultry. I wanted to mimic those authentic flavors, but add broken noodles as an additional layer, to create a true hotdish. Broken noodles are in all of our pantries. How many times have you bought a box of pasta and a third of it is in pieces. Well, I wanted to give this pasta a good home – hence Broken Noodle Chicken Alfredo Hotdish.
This pasta meal is baked in a casserole and served family-style. I think it makes the perfect Social Sundays dinner – hearty, comforting and fun to make. I love to serve an arugula salad alongside, for a nice bitter contrast. So, invite some friends and enjoy your weekend.
3 cups broken pasta noodles, any variety
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 cups cooked chicken breasts, shredded
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
4 ounces fontina, shredded
4 ounces ricotta cheese
salt & pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove noodles from packaging and break apart any additional pasta to create mostly even pieces. Boil pasta in salted water for 8 minutes, drain.
2. In a large pot, add butter and flour, place over medium heat. Cook until butter is melted and mixture becomes a paste or roux. Add milk, cream, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Whisk over heat until slightly thickened and bubbling, about 4 minutes. Add in cooked chicken and stir, turn off heat.
3. Place half of cooked noodles in a greased casserole. Layer with half of sauce, mozzarella, fontina and ricotta cheeses. Repeat with noodles, sauce and cheeses. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 6 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with arugula salad, Enjoy!