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Source: The Working Family's Cookbook

Chicken, Broccoli and Garlic Pasta Casserole
Make two of these delicious casseroles and freeze one for later in the month.
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Serves: 4
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
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8 ounces pasta, penne or other tube-shaped pasta
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cups broccoli, florets and thinly sliced peeled stems
2 1/2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup onion, chopped
2 medium-size cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspon dried thyme
1 1/2 cups chicken broth, or water
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 bay leaf
3/4 pound skinless Boneless Chicken breast, cut crosswise into thin strips
Pinch ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons Grated Parmesan cheese




Bring a large pot of water to the boil for the pasta. Add salt and the penne and cook for about 9 minutes until the pasta is barely tender. (The pasta should be slightly undercooked as it will cook more in the casserole.) Drain in a colander and set aside in a large bowl.

Meanwhile, steam the broccoli over 1 to 2 inches of water for about 5 minutes until tender. Add to the bowl with the penne.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes until softened. Stir in the garlic and flour and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the thyme and then slowly whisk in the broth and milk. Add the bay leaf, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook gently for 10 minutes. Add the chicken and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the chicken is barely cooked through. Remove from the heat and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add to the bowl with the pasta and broccoli along with the parsley and stir until the pasta is coated with the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Oil a 2-quart 11 1/2-by-8-inch baking dish. Spoon the pasta mixture into the dish and smooth the top. Dot with spoonfuls of ricotta and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake for about 20 minutes until the casserole is heated through and the top is lightly browned.





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