Chicken florentine pasta bake
A good pasta bake is a tried and true family crowd pleaser. This chicken florentine pasta is a creamy sauce of chicken and spinach topped with bechamel and cheese and baked to a delicious golden crust.
4 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
500g chicken thigh fillets, cut into 2cm pieces
1 large bunch English spinach, roughly chopped
½ cup white wine
1 tsp chicken stock powder (optional)
300 ml thickened cream
500 g San Remo Curls
2 cups shredded cheese, for topping
½ cup flour
75 g butter
1 litre milk
½ tsp salt
- Start with the bechamel topping. Combine the flour and butter in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring for about 2 minutes until the mixture is combined into a roux. Add the milk a little at a time, stirring between each addition to remove any lumps, to create a smooth sauce. Stir in the salt and set aside.
- Heat a 30 x 20cm roasting tray over medium heat. If your roasting tray cannot be placed directly over heat you can do the next step in a separate frying pan. Cook the pasta according to the packet directions, testing for the pasta to be al dente about 2 minutes before the printed time on the packet.
- Heat your oven to 180C. Add the oil, onion and garlic to the roasting tray and fry for about 6 minutes until the onion starts to brown. Add the chicken and fry until lightly browned. Add the white wine and bring to a simmer, stirring up any brown bits form the base of the roasting tray. Add the spinach and stir to wilt, then add the pasta, about ½ a cup of pasta water, the thickened cream and chicken stock powder (if using) and mix well to combine. Flatten the top and pour over the bechamel. Smooth the bechamel and scatter with the cheese.
- Place the roasting tray in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Switch to grill and grill for about 10 more minutes until the cheese is golden. Remove from the oven and stand for 15 minutes before serving.