Italian is my favorite kind of food! My husband even took me to DeFazio’s, my favorite Italian restaurant, for our first date! So for tonight’s dinner, let’s make one of the yummiest Italian dishes your taste buds will ever enjoy!Ingredients: 1.5-2 lbs cooked and cubed chicken, 1-14-16 oz. box bowtie pasta, 6 T. butter, 1 1/2 cups chopped onion, 6 cloves minced garlic, 6 T. flour, 1 1/2 cups milk, 3-14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes with basil and garlic and oregano, 3-8 oz. cans tomato sauce, 6 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, 2 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 1/2 tsp. pepper, and 3/4 tsp. sugarCook and drain pasta according to directions on the box.In a large pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 5-6 minutes or until onion is tender.Add flour and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly.Stir in milk, diced tomoatoes, and tomato sauce; cook for 5-6 minutes or until slightly thickened.Add sugar, pepper and salt.Stir in 4 1/2 cups cheese and cooked chicken.Gently stir in pasta.At this point you can serve it as is, sprinkling with remaining cheese OR spoon mixture into a sprayed baking dish (9 X 13), top with remaining cheese, and bake at 350º for 25-30 minutes for a more solid casserole texture.
*Another variation of this is to prepare a chicken breast covered in Italian bread crumbs and bake until done, serving it on top of the pasta and sauce in this recipe. Also, this sauce is delicious to substitute in your Italian dishes like spaghetti or manicotti!
This delicious dish freezes and reheats well! Serve with a slice of garlic bread and a side salad. Bon appetito!