Sunday, March 7, 2010

An Overstated Aversion to Casserole?

I'll go ahead and make a confession.  I hate casseroles.  I don't like the look, I don't like the mushy texture, and I generally don't like throwing all sorts of stuff in a dish and cooking it together.  So imagine my surprise when I found myself looking for a casserole dish on Wednesday night.

A few months ago, I made a pasta with cream sauce and parmesan that Michelle apparently loved even though I wasn't the hugest fan of it.  She asked me to make it again and I reluctantly agreed, but I felt that I needed to upscale it a bit if I was going to enjoy it.  Somehow my need to upscale a pasta dish led me to making a casserole, and I'm still not sure how.  I do have to admit; however, that it turned out pretty well and may have slightly altered my thoughts on casseroles.

I substituted rigatoni for linguine because I wanted it to catch the sauce better.  I think that the next time I make it (and there will be a next time) that I would make more sauce to coat the pasta better.

Ingredients (serves 4)
1 lb of rigatoni, cooked
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp black truffle oil
kosher salt
2 boneless skinnless chicken breasts
1.5 cups of broccoli florets
canola oil

1.  To make the sauce, melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. 
2.  Add the garlic and a pinch of salt to the butter and cook until it just begins to brown (about 5 mins).
3.  Meanwhile, film the bottom of a saute pan with canola oil and heat over medium heat for a few minutes. 
4.  Lightly salt and pepper the chicken and add it to the saute pan for 4 minutes per side, just to brown it.
5.  Once the garlic is browned, add the cream and bring it to a boil, then reduce to low.
6.  Add the cheese and stir until fully incorporated and the sauce is smooth.
7.  Add the white wine vinegar and stir to incorporate.
8.  Preheat oven to 400.
9.  Remove sauce from heat and stir in black truffle oil
10.  Slice the chicken crosswise into thin strips (it won't be cooked at this point, but it will finish in the oven).
11.  Put the pasta in a large baking dish.  Top that with rows of sliced chicken, then spread the broccoli florets over the top.
12.  Pour the sauce evenly over the top of it, and bake for 10 minutes until the chicken is just done and the sauce is bubbling.
13.  When you take it out of the oven, drizzle a thin stream of black truffle oil over the top to finish.  Serve with some grated parmesan cheese.

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