600ml(2 ½ cups) milkuse skimmed for lighter version
180g(2 cups) strong cheddar, grated
2tspmustard powder or 2 tsp Dijon mustard
1tspgarlic powder(not garlic salt)
Pinchfreshly grated nutmeg, optional
Chicken Pasta Bake
400g(14oz) rigatoni pastaor your favourite dried pasta
150g(⅔ cup) diced baconor pancetta cubes
1yellow onionfinely diced
400g(14oz) sweet cornfrom a tin, drained
450g(1 lb) cooked chickendiced
1tbspfreshly grated Parmesan
Large handful fresh parsley, chopped, divided
Salt and pepper, to season
Make the cheese sauce
Heat the butter in a large pan over medium heat until melted.
Stir in the flour, stirring continuously, until you make a paste (called a roux). Don't let the roux brown, keep stirring.
Pour in a little of the milk, whisking continuously with a small balloon whisk (or stirring with a wooden spoon) until the liquid thickens.
Working quickly, keep adding more of the milk to the pan, gradually, whisking it in with each addition until all of the milk has been added and the white sauce is smooth and glossy.
Take the pan off the heat. Stir in the mustard, garlic powder, nutmeg if using and salt.
Add the grated cheese and stir it into the sauce until it melts. Have a taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Chicken Pasta Bake
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water according to pack instructions. Set a timer to cook till al dente then drain.
While the pasta is cooking, fry the bacon in a non stick pan for 5 minutes, until it starts to crisp.
Add the diced onion and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring, until slightly softened.
Stir in the corn and chicken.
Add this to your cheese sauce, stir to combine then mix in the pasta so that it is well coated in the sauce. Stir in half the parsley.
Transfer to a large ovenproof baking dish and season with a little black pepper. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown in spots. Cool slightly before serving garnished with more chopped parsley.
USING FRESH CHICKENButterfly three large chicken breasts. Place between two pieces of greaseproof paper and gently flatten using a rolling pin. Pan fry in a little butter until the chicken is cooked through. Slice into small pieces before adding to your chicken pasta bake.LOVE YOUR LEFTOVERS Your chicken bacon pasta bake will keep for a couple of days in the fridge. Reheat in the oven or in a pan, adding a little milk if needed.FREEZING INSTRUCTIONSYou can freeze the assembled dish, before it is baked. Leave to cool completely first, cover with a layer of cling film and then a layer of foil, label and freeze for up to three months. Cook directly from frozen as per instructions.MAKE IT LIGHTERFor a more Slimming Friendly version, replace the butter for a reduced fat spread (such as Flora Light) and use skimmed milk and reduced fat cheddar cheese to make the sauce. This works out at approximately 4 syns per portion for the Flora and flour but make sure you keep an eye on your portion sizes! Serve with a crisp green salad or some steamed vegetables.