Baked Penne

Not going to lie…this recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe took 50 minutes of me in the kitchen chopping, stirring, draining, and mixing.  Not OK.  Although it turned out to be a recipe of Italian restaurant quality, much to Justin’s dismay (he absolutely loved it) I don’t see myself making this again unless it is for a special occasion in the future (i.e anniversary, dinner, parents in town, etc).

Prep Time          50 Minutes
Cook Time         15 Minutes
Makes                6-8 Servings


3/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 lbs broccoli florets
12 ounces penne pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3) cut into bite-sized pieces
3 ounces smoked mozzarella, shredded
8 ounces jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped into pieces


1.  In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and melted butter.  Set aside.

2.  Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish and set aside.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

3.  In a large pot, bring the water for the pasta to a boil.  Stir in one tablespoon salt and the broccoli.  Cook broccoli for 1 minute until it is bright green.  Quickly remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon to a plate and set to the side.

4.  Return the water to a boil, add penne pasta, and cook until al dente (about 1-2 minutes less than normal since the pasta will cook in the oven also).  Drain pasta and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Leave in colander.

5.  After wiping large pot dry, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and return to medium heat.  Add the onion, cook about 5 minutes until softened and browning.

6.  Stir in garlic and thyme.  Cook about 30 seconds while stirring constantly.  Add flour, salt, and pepper.  Continue to cook about 1 minute while stirring constantly.

7.  Slowly whisk in chicken broth and heaving whipping cream.  Bring to a simmer, whisk often.

8.  Add chicken.  Cook for 6-7 minutes while stirring occassionally.

9.  Stir in sun dried tomatoes and shredded smoked mozzarella.

10.  Add cooked pasta and broccoli to the sauce.  Stir.

11.  Transfer the pot mixture to the prepared 9×13 baking dish and sprinkle with the bread topping.

12.  Bake about 15 minutes until the casserole is bubbling and crumbs are lightly brown.

Even the little ones I nanny loved it!  Can’t argue with that!



2 thoughts on “Baked Penne

  1. Pingback: Sugar Cookies « The Thread Affect

  2. Pingback: Sugar Cookies « The Thread Affect

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