Oops, I cheated again. HA! OK so I never promised outright that I would always 100% make stuff from scratch, but that was kind of my goal on my culinary journey. However, when there is a jar of stuff in the pantry to use as a recipe base, you use it. You don't just let it sit there forever.
So I had a jar of "Creamy Tomato and Parmesan Pasta Bake" from Heinz (they were on special at the supermarket one day, so we thought "why not" and got one to try). Lemme just say, when I cracked it open, it didn't smell too good; it wasn't off, I think it was just the parmesan aroma haha! You can tell I'll never be one for fine dining huh? I've put a pic of the jar below, so you can see which one it was.
Anyway, I had found a recipe online for a chicken pasta bake to make with this jar, which was all well and good. Except when it came time to make the pasta bake, silly little me didn't read how much pasta to cook. HA! It said 200g or something of pasta for this 500g jar of sauce (plus the chicken). Out of habit, I cooked 500g of pasta. -_- Oops.
When I realised, I thought "oh snap - there's not going to be enough sauce in that jar to cover TWICE as much pasta, AND chicken AND the onion I'd added - we're gonna have a dry pasta bake - yuck". DOH! So I improvised. Luckily, although we had run out of canned diced tomatoes (which would have been a lovely juicy addition), we still had some cans of tomato puree. So I chucked that in too. And you know what? It worked well! Yay me! :)
Serves about 6, I guess - we had 3 main meals, and 3 meal sized left overs too... yum! One thing I have to complain about though, is that it made & used a LOT of dishes. Poor Dad, he had to do them all haha!
500g cooked penne pasta (al dente)
500g chicken breast (skinless), diced
1 onion, sliced
500g jar of Heinz Creamy Tomato & Parmesan Pasta Bake
1 can tomato puree
Grated cheese (about 1 cup?)
- Preheat the oven to 180 deg C.
- Put the pasta on to cook to al dente (as per packet instructions). Drain, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, brown the onion and chicken in a fry pan with a lil bit of oil.
- When it's cooked, toss in the pasta bake sauce, and the can of tomato puree.
- Mix the pasta into the chicken sauce, making sure all the pasta has some sauce on/around it.
- Pour the pasta into an oven safe casserole dish, and sprinkle over grated cheese.
- Bake for 20 mins in a moderate oven (180 deg C) or until the cheese is golden
I may or may not have got a bit distracted and let my pasta bake overcook a little last night... but I just pulled out the blackest bits of pasta and threw them away haha. It still tasted ok!
Recipe Inspiration: http://www.foodinaminute.co.nz/Recipes/Chicken-Tomato-and-Parmesan-Pasta-Bake