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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Cheesy Broccoli and Bacon Pasta Bake

I must have been really tired or half awake or something when I found this recipe because I thought it was chicken, broccoli pasta bake.  I was almost sure that this recipe had chicken in it so I thawed my chicken and had all the other ingredients that I need to make this.  When I pulled out the recipe and read through it there was no chicken included.  I planned on this being our meal for dinner.  So, what to do? You adjust.  I thought about adding cooked chicken to the pasta but wasn't sure there was enough liquid in it for it to taste right.  The next option was to cook some chicken to go along with this side dish.  That worked.  I might in the future try and make some adjustments to it so that chicken can be added.
I used fresh parsley I cut from my garden today.
I took three pieces of bacon and cut it into pieces.
Cooked it in the skillet until nice and brown.
 Cook 2 cups pasta per instructions on box.  The recipe calls for ziti pasta but I found the cute twisted pasta and used that.
Finish cooking the bacon.  Drain the bacon on a towel but save the drippings in the pan.
Chop a medium size onion and some fresh parsley.
I moved to a larger pot for the rest of this recipe.  Add about 1 Tablespoon of the bacon drippings.
Add the onion and parsley to the pot to cook in the drippings.
You want to soften the onion a little.
Add 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour to the onions and stir.
Add 1 1/2 cups 2 % milk.
Make sure the flour is mixed well with the onions.
Add the milk and stir.
Stir until the mixture thickens a little bit.
Add 1 cup of fresh broccoli. Cut the broccoli into bite size pieces.
Cook for 2-3 minutes until it softens a little.  Next time I might cook the broccoli in the last couple of minutes of the pasta.
Add the pasta, and mix well.
Add about 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.
Stir until the cheese is melted.
Pour the pasta into a greased baking dish. I probably could have used a slightly larger dish.
Added the crumbed bacon on top.
Sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon of panko. Place in a preheated 350 oven.  Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until it is bubbly and panko is browned.
Fresh from the oven.
It makes a nice side dish with the chicken.

Cheesy Broccoli and Bacon Pasta Bake Recipe

2 cups ziti pasta
salt and pepper
2-3 slices bacon
1 medium onion chopped
2 Tablespoons minced parsley
1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups 2% milk
1 cup fresh broccoli florets
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 Tablespoon panko

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