In January we unearthed a really good recipe from Cooking Light, Fontina and Mascarpone Baked Pasta. We tried it, we liked it.
But to us, it was just the beginning. It was just a shell of what it could be. So we picked up some chicken, bacon and broccoli and tweaked a few things.
That's how we arrived at Chicken, Bacon and Broccoli Fontina Bake.
It's gooey -- thank you BelGioioso fontina -- and delightful -- kudos to Belgioioso, too. It's filling and hearty and helps for lasting in these long winter days in Wisconsin.
But when you get a bite of bacon -- we had Patrick Cudahy in our fridge -- that's when the dish really sings, and the cheese, broccoli and nutmeg dance.
Excuse me while I go have some more.
Chicken, Bacon and Broccoli Fontina Bake
adapted from Cooking Light
8 to 10 servings
14.5 ounces penne
3 small or 2 medium heads of broccoli, cut into florets
4 slices bacon, cut into rough chunks
2 chicken breasts, cut into half-inch pieces
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups fat-free milk
8 ounces fontina, shredded
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
salt and pepper to taste
dash of nutmeg
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1. Cook the pasta a few minutes less than directions suggest. A minute or two before that time, toss in the broccoli. Drain and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Cook bacon until brown; remove from pan to a toweled drying rack or paper towels on top of a plate. Add chicken and cook through; remove from pan.
4. In a separate bowl, combine flour and milk. Add to chicken pan. Stir continuously until sauce thickens up, then add fontina and mascarpone. Stir in salt and pepper; add nutmeg. Add the chicken and bacon and the pasta and broccoli; stir and fold to combine.
5. In a 13-by-9 baking pan sprayed with cooking spray, spoon mixture in. Add panko to the top. Cook in oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes.