Happy week before Christmas food friends! I planned out our meals this week with as little cooking as possible to ensure there were not many leftovers in the refrigerator to save room for all the Christmas dinner items soon to be taking up residence in there. Tonight leftover Baked 3 Cheese Penne with Chicken and Pancetta + leftover Pulled Pork turned into tacos. My goal is by the time Friday rolls around to have as little leftovers as possible since we are out each night until Christmas Day and it’s our turn to host dinner!
This Baked 3 Cheese Penne is made with a three cheese sauce that thinks it’s an alfredo sauce. Seriously. But it’s better because it’s home made and entirely delicious featuring provolone, parmesan and asiago cheese. I tossed in some leftover pancetta and cooked the chicken in the bacon fat. Cheese in the sauce, cheese on top, bake it for 25 minutes and dinner is on the table.
This recipe was loved by the family so I’m definitely making it again!
- 4 slices (15g) pancetta, large dice
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 lb (450-500g) penne
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 tbsp flour
- 3 cups milk
- 2 cups provolone, shredded
- ⅓ cup sundried tomatoes
- 1 cup parmesan, shredded
- ½ cup asiago, shredded
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400. Grease casserole dish and set aside.
- In a large nonstick pan cook pancetta over medium heat. Remove with slotted spoon onto paper towel lined plate. Leave bacon grease in pan.
- Half chicken breasts lengthwise. Then cut crosswise into smaller pieces. Season well with salt and pepper. Add to pan with leftover bacon grease and cook until no longer pink (3-5 minutes). With slotted spoon remove to plate with bacon.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente.Drain and lay out on baking sheet to cool off without sticking.
- In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and garlic cooking for about 1 minute. Pour in a little milk and whisk until combined. Continue to pour in milk while whisking frequently bringing to a boil. It will thicken as it heats up. Remove from heat and stir in 1½ cups provolone, ½ cup parmesan and ¼ cup asiago.
- Add chicken, bacon and noodles to casserole dish. Pour cheese sauce over top and mix well to combine. Sprinkle remaining provolone, parmesan and asiago on top.
- Baked, uncovered, for about 25 minutes or until top is starting to brown and bubbling.