Baked Pastina Casserole

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Baked Pastina Casserole calls for the following ingredients on your grocery list:

  • Pastina (I had never even heard of this! Unfortunately pastas are not organized alphabetically, but I found this on the top shelf with the other tiny pasta.) 
  • Olive Oil
  • Chicken Breast (The recipe only calls for one but you can never have too much chicken)
  • Onion
  • Garlic Clove (I don't have a garlic press so I have elected to use Garlic Powder)
  • 1 Can of Diced Tomatoes, with juice
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley (Ok, so parsley comes by the bundle and that bundle is HUGE, I went to the seasoning aisle instead....I know it isn't "fresh" but the taste should be ok)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Bread Crumbs (For Some reason I thought this would be by the bread....nope. Try a couple of aisles over, near seasoning.) 
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Butter

The estimated grand total, if you have absolutely nothing in your kitchen, is $18.27. This recipe makes 4 servings so that is $4.57 per serving. I'm sure many of you already have a decent amount of these ingredients at home! You know what that means....Not too shabby for Italian, eh?

The casserole is in the oven and thus far, it smells delicious! Hopefully the taste will not disappoint.
Ms. De Laurentiis tries to get all sneaky on you and spring attack steps, but I am here to make sense of the mess.

Step 1:
Preheat Oven to 400F.

Step 2:
I recommend cubing your chicken breast at this time. Also, take one small onion and dice. (Can I just say how awesome I think onions are? They practically dice themselves!)

Step 3:
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil or high heat. (Careful though...once the pasta is in, that water is going to go crazy. Try to keep it all contained!)

Step 4:
Once boiling add your teeny tiny cup of pastina and toss it in the water. (Right now the star shape is cute and endearing, but draining that sucker is a PAIN!) It is recommended that you boil for just 5 minutes. (Apparently the pasta will be tender at that point, but you can't even stick it with a fork so just cross your fingers.) Now drain!

Step 5:
Heat up 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil in a "saute pan," over medium heat. Throw in that chicken you cubed and the onion. It is also time to measure out your garlic powder. According to the net 1 clove of garlic is approximately 1/8 teaspoon. (You may be looking at your measuring cups scratching your head. Stop scratching, reach for that 1/4 teaspoon and eyeball about half.) Now saute. (This means to move the pan back and forth over the burner, flipping the food is only cool if the food doesn't fall out.) It is all cooked when the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked.

Step 6:
Add everything you have just prepared into one big bowl! Now add one 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes, with juice, (I used Italian seemed appropriate.)1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup parsley, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Now stir!

Step 7:
Butter yourself a baking dish and spread the pasta in the dish.

Step 8:
In a small bowl mix 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup bread crumbs and to be honest I would add a teeny amount of melted butter. Sprinkle over top.

Step 9:
Bake until the top is golden brown. Mine only needed about 20 minutes.



This smells amazing, so it is safe to say that your coworkers will be jealous when you heat this up for lunch. However, the taste is on the bland side. I wouldn't be completely against making it again but I think I would add something like a green pepper to add some flavor.

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  1. That looks amazing! I'm gonna trying it with the green pepper and see how it works out! I love this idea, by the way. It'll come in handy for married life. You're amazing Emma! I love you!

  2. Nug! Thank you so much for not only reading but also commenting! You'll have to let me know what you think when you try it out!

  3. Looks very yummy and yes I think some bell peppers would be delightful. I would love for you to post the recipe at the beginning so that I know what to gather together before I start. This is way cool,Emma, you go girl!!

  4. Thanks for the feedback!! I will post it that way this week!