So just for fun, I’ve given this recipe a spooky October/Halloween name, but you could just call it Chicaroni, or (because that is pretty silly too) you could call Italian Mac-n-Cheese. It’s really easy to make too, you can use the same pot for the pasta, meat and sauce! It’s a lovely change to the usual cheddar sauce, but still rich and creamy with a bit of a herby taste… It’s definitely not diet food, in fact, it’s pretty calorific, scary huh?
- 1/2 lb of double elbow macaroni (cavatappi)
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 tsp minced fresh garlic
- 1 lb raw chicken breast meat, cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 2 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 2 TBSP dry vermouth or water
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1/2 cup milk
- 8 oz/2 cups shredded Italian cheese Blend
- 1 tsp parsley flakes
- Salt & Black Pepper to taste
- butter for greasing
- Cook the pasta according to instructions on the packaging, drain, rinse and leave in the colander.
- In the pot you cooked the pasta in, add the oil and onion.
- Cook the onion over medium heat until it begins to brown, then add the garlic.
- Cook and stir for 1 minute, then add the chicken.
- Cook and stir the chicken until it is no longer pink on the outside.
- Splash in a few tablespoons of dry vermouth or water to deglaze the pan.
- Continue to cook and stir until all the liquid has evaporated.
- Pour the chicken mixture out on top of the pasta in the colander.
- Add the cream cheese and milk, stir breaking up the cream cheese until it’s nearly melted into the milk.
- Turn off the heat, stir in 1 & 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese until you have a thick, smooth sauce.
- Stir in the pasta and chicken, the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Butter the bottom and sides of a baking dish and pour in the pasta mixture.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese over the top and place in the middle rack of a cold oven.
- Set the oven to 350f, and bake the Chicaroni for 30 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned.
- Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Makes 4 to 5 Servings – Goes great with a green salad and/or side of broccoli
- You could leave out the chicken, or replace it with another meat.
- You could stir in peas when adding the pasta and meat to the sauce, for a one-dish meal.
- You could use shredded mozzarella and a bit of parmesan instead of the Italian cheese blend.
- You could use cream instead of milk, to add calories, if you’re so skinny that you need to gain weight… damn you.
- Kids like, it, even if they look scared before eating it.