I know by now you are all aware that we are very fond of my Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta, but tonight I made it slightly different, and more of it. I'm trying to get a buffer up, of a few meals that can feed all of us during the upcoming move. Moving is never fun, less so with children, and I'd prefer not to have to feed them junk every night while we settle in. This was surprisingly easy to expand into two meals, and what's easier than a frozen pasta bake, ready to pop into the oven?
2 for 1 Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta (Bake)
500g pasta (we used hi-fibre spirals)
3 small carrots, sliced
2 small heads broccoli, cut into florets
200g mushrooms, sliced
175g bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
1 red capsicum, chunky diced
1 cup corn
1/2 cheese, + more for sprinkling
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 jar Chicken Tonight Creamy Lemon Chicken
Put some water on to boil for the pasta, add some salt to taste, and the carrots. Add the pasta when the water is boiling, and cook to preferred stage of 'doneness'. About 4 or 5 minutes before the pasta is done, throw the broccoli florets into the pasta water to cook gently. You have to time this well, as too long will result in soggy broccoli, but not long enough will result in semi raw broccoli. Err on the side of caution in which your family is most likely to eat. For instance, my kids will eat broccoli any way it comes, raw or mooshy, but Master One can't eat raw broccoli yet. So I tend to overcook rather than undercook my vegetables when I don't know what I'm doing. You get a feel for it eventually.
While the pasta and boiled vegies cook, fry the onion, bacon, capsicum, and mushrooms in a pan. Add the corn last if you are using frozen like I did, or whenever if using canned. If you are using fresh corn kernels, then you are a better mother/cook than me, and you should know how long it needs anyway :P
Once all that is browned and cooking away nicely, add the soup and sauce, and cook down until everything is cooked and smooth and yummy. You'll have to use your own discretion for this.
Drain the pasta and vegies, and tip back into the pot. Pour all the sauce into the pot, and mix to combine thoroughly. Dish out enough for everyone to eat that night. Then tip the rest into a disposable foil tray. Washing dishes, like cooking, is also something that isn't much fun while moving. And even if you aren't moving, it's always nice to have few dishes on a lazy dinner night.
Add the 1/2 cup of cheese and mix in well. Sprinkle a bit more cheese on the top if you like. Cover with foil, and cool before freezing.
Frozen pasta needs to be thawed, before baking at 180C until golden.
Ready for freezer. Note the anti-dishes foil tray
Don't forget to think (and cook!) pink for the Virtual Night In, raising money and awareness for Breast Cancer Research.