By the time this is posted, we will be in full swing of the big move – the unpacking stage. The kitchen is going to require some work to get things just where I want them to be. The great thing about the new digs is that it has a huge bonus room, just off the living room. While this could be turned into a family room or media room, we have elected to create an actual dining room. (With no distractions – no electronics allowed!)
There is a breakfast nook just off the kitchen that could be used as the family dining area. However; that’s not the plan – I want to utilize the space with a big butcher block or other table (like an old farm table) and create a great “prep” area – with shelving and a low hutch for all my kitchen goodies. Room to stretch out and strut my stuff so to speak. The natural light in the room is amazing – can’t wait to set up the camera equipment and really get to cooking.
While I’m excited about all the possibilities, there are some draw backs. There is no pantry – it’s an older home, but still I know people kept food in the house, you would think a pantry would be a must. I am accustomed to the no-pantry concept, since the home we are leaving behind (also an older home) lacked an actual pantry as well. There, we used a large hutch as a pantry. The new place has two closets (down the hall and around the corner from the kitchen) with tons of shelving. There is something else in the hall built-ins that I don’t understand. There’s an actual cutting board – I’m not sure why someone would need a cutting board in the middle of the hallway, but there it is. Go figure –
Anyway, recently I shared a recipe very similar to this one, Pesto-Alfredo Pasta Chicken Bake a dish inspired by The Cooking Jar. Not only was this dish absolutely incredible, the leftovers were equally as delicious. Until things get settled in the new digs, we’ll be looking for meals that can stretch throughout the week, and my Rotini and Chicken Bake with Artichokes are just the ticket. Not only do we have a bag of cooked chicken in the freezer, but I still have an extra jar of Marinated Artichoke hearts from our 4th of July celebration. I wanted to make sure I had enough to make my Panko-Parmesan Marinated Artichoke Hearts with Lemon-Basil Aioli for everyone. I worry all the time about not making enough food, and as a result, there are “extra” ingredients for later. (If you would like the recipe, check out Hurray for The Red, White and Blue).
This is a dish I shared a few years back. With all this moving, it’s one I’m making again. Hope you enjoy.
Rigatoni and Chicken Bake with Artichokes
1 lb Rigatoni pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (about 1 roasted chicken)
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes Italian style
1 can (14 oz) Marinated Artichoke Hears, drained and quartered
6 oz sliced green olives (optional)
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
1/4 Cup White Wine (Optional)
Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, gather and prepare all your other ingredients.
Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Heat oil in large deep skillet over medium heat until hot. Add onion and pepper; cook and stir about 1 minute. Add chicken, tomatoes with juices, pasta, artichokes and Italian seasoning; mix until combined.
Place half of the chicken mixture in prepared dish, sprinkle with half of the cheese. Top with remaining chicken mixture and cheese. If desires, pour a little white wine over the casserole before placing it in the oven.
Bake, 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Serve with warm bread and a simple salad for an easy weeknight meal.