Chick-Chick Chicken Pasta Bake

Inspired by the Dale family – mum and dad work at Ella’s making sure all our food is safe to eat – this comforting pasta dish is easy to make and topped with cheesy breadcrumbs.

Reprinted with permission from the publisher, Octopus Publishing, from Ella's Kitchen the Cook Book by Paul Lindley. Hamlyn 2013.

Chick-Chick Chicken Pasta Bake

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    1 pound butternut squash, diced 2 1/2 fl oz whole milk
    1 carrot, diced 3 1/2 oz small pasta shapes, such as pasta shells
    1 teaspoon olive oil 1 thick slice of farmhouse bread
    1 chicken breast, about 5 1/2 oz, diced 1 oz cheddar cheese, grated
    3 1/2 oz mushrooms, finely sliced


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    • 1

      Preheat the oven to 400°F.

    • 2

      Steam the butternut squash and carrot pieces for 10 minutes until tender, then blitz them together with a hand blender until you have a soft purée.

    • 3

      Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and add the chicken pieces. Fry the chicken for 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until cooked through, then add the mushrooms and cook for a further 4–5 minutes. Stir in 120 4¼ oz of the butternut squash and carrot purée (freeze any you have left over), then add the milk, stir, and cook for a further 1 minute. Remove the mixture from the heat.

    • 4

      Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions until al dente. Drain, and then add the pasta to the chicken mixture and mix together thoroughly. Transfer everything to a small, shallow ovenproof dish.

    • 5

      Using a food processor, blitz the bread into breadcrumbs, then place them in a bowl and stir through the grated Cheddar. Spoon the cheesy breadcrumb mixture over the pasta bake and cook in the oven for 20 minutes until the top is golden and crispy.

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