Yes, slimmers and creamy in one sentence, thanks to low-fat creamed cheese! I whipped this up quickly to use up some leftover cooked chicken that I had hanging around. I thought a courgette would be a nice addition and make a change from the standard mushrooms, ham or asparagus.
As always with pasta bakes I would put this together well ahead of cooking time, and even plan ahead by cooking surplus pasta the day before.
For two of us I used :
6oz dry weight of penne pasta
6 oz leftover cooked chicken
1 medium courgette (zucchini)
½ pint of chicken stock
Put the pasta on to boil and cook as per packet directions.
Prepare the courgette (zucchini) by halving across the middle and cutting slices off the central core (which can be discarded). Cut the slices into strips and chop into pieces approximately the same size as the penne.
Cook the courgette (zucchini) in the chicken stock while the pasta is cooking, so that the stock reduces. Add the creamed cheese and mix well, making sure that all the cheese is blended with the stock and there are no lumps.
Drain the pasta and return to the pan, add the courgette and cream cheese mixture and leave to cool. Once it is completely cold add the chicken to the pan and stir it in and then spoon the mixture into a baking dish. Top with some grated cheese, a mixture of cheddar and parmesan is always nice.
From cold, in one of these enamel dishes the pasta bake will want approximately 25 – 30 minutes (depending on the size of the dish) at 190oC / 375oF / Gas mark 5. In a stoneware dish it will take a little longer.