Recipe of the Day: Giada’s Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina | Food Network

[theme music] Pastina may be the most kid-friendly pasta, because it's small and comes in fun shapes I'm going to mix it with sauteed chicken and vegetables, then bake it with a cheesy Parmesan crust on top

The kids will love baked chicken and pastina and so will you While Charlie and Lucy play outside, I'm going to make the perfect lunch for them, my Italian pastina with chicken So first thing I want to do is just salt my water for the pasta Now, pastina just means little pasta So it can be any shape

It can be these elbow macaroni, which I just love We're just going throw in just a little bit There we go And they puff up, so you don't need that much We'll let these cook, and because the pasta is so small, it only takes about five or six minutes to cook

So while that cooks, I'm going to heat my skillet, and we're going to cook some chicken So we're going to add some chicken to the pastina, then bake it with cheese It's going to be a hit I know I loved it as a kid Something that you can make in advance, and then you just reheat it later on if you need to

You can make a whole bunch, like just a big baking dish full So I'm just going to add the chicken to my frying pan And you just want to brown the chicken a little bit Put it on high In the meantime, I am going to just use half an onion and a little bit of garlic, just one clove

My mom used to make this kind of dish for us when we were kids I absolutely loved it It's one of the ultimate comfort foods for us You could smell it all over the house too It's perfect

And what kid doesn't love a cheesy pasta dish? They always do I'll just turn that around And the chicken will finish cooking in the oven with the pasta You just want to give it a little bit of flavor, so I'm browning it in the pan just a bit here There we go

Then you just add the onions and the garlic, a little bit And just saute that, just until the onions become soft and you can smell the garlic It's really yummy All right While that cooks, it's time for me to grate all the cheese

So we're just going to take the box grater and some mozzarella Just a little bit more to go Perfect So now we've got the mozzarella and let's see about the chicken Chicken is just about ready

And let's check the pasta The pastina should be ready And you just want to cook it until it's a little bit under al dente Five minutes or so, and it's ready to go Perfect

Pasta is ready Now, I'm going to add the chicken, the onions, and the garlic Just get all of those onions there That smells good And a little bit goes a long way with all of this

I'm going to add all of the mozzarella right on top And see, already the hot pasta is melting the mozzarella Yummy And we're also going to add some fresh flat leaf parsley So parsley and some tomatoes

You've got to add some tomatoes Again, color and also the tomatoes kelp keep the pasta from sticking to each other as well We're just going to add a can of tomatoes See how pretty that is? You don't have to worry about it all being cooked completely, because it's going to finish cooking in the oven And I want to add a little bit of salt and just a little bit of cracked black pepper, just a tad

That's it, not too much Gosh, look at the mozzarella all melted in there Oh, so good Now, I just want to put it in my buttered baking dish So I'm just going to put it all in there

This is the secret on top I use store-bought bread crumbs What I love about them is they're nice and dry so they make for a nice crisp crust on top And we are going to add some Parmigiano-Reggiano right on top In my family, we all love cheese, so we always add quite a bit of cheese

Mix these two together, and then just sprinkle it right over the top, just like that And if you ever wonder how you get it to be golden brown, I just had a little bit of soft butter right over the top And the bread crumbs absorb the butter and that creates a wonderfully golden crust, crispy, and kind of buttery It's so good I'm going to bake this at 400 degrees for 30 minutes

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