|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
Chopped cooked kale is delicious in this casserole, but chard or spinach could also be used. This is a hearty dish, perfect to serve a family any day of the week or make it for a potluck or large gathering. Casarecce pasta is a slightly twisted, open, tubular shape which holds sauce very well. It worked beautifully in this casserole, and would be great in a creamy macaroni and cheese dish as well. Feel free to use fusilli, campanelle, macaroni, penne, or similar pasta in this dish.
16 ounces fusilli or casarecce pasta
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf thyme
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 2 cups diced cooked chicken
- 2 cups frozen kale or spinach, cooked and well drained
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar or Cheddar blend of cheeses
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup soft fresh bread crumbs
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water as directed on the package, then drain and rinse with hot water; set aside.
In a sauté pan or large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until onion is lightly browned. Add the flour and cook, stirring, until the flour is well incorporated and cooked, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and chicken broth. Continue cooking, stirring, until thickened and bubbly.
Add the cream, thyme, parsley, chicken, and kale, stir to blend.
Stir in the cheese until melted, then salt and pepper to taste.
Combine with the pasta and transfer to a lightly greased 2 to 2 1/2-quart baking dish.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and toss with the bread crumbs. Spread over the casserole.
Bake at 350 F for about 25 minutes, or until the casserole is hot and the top is lightly browned. To brown the crumbs more, turn the broiler on for a few seconds. Watch carefully, though: they could burn very quickly.