A Squared: Friday Finds: Baked Pastina Casserole

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Finds: Baked Pastina Casserole


As you may recall, I have an abundance of pasta in my kitchen to start using ASAP so for this week's Friday Find, I consulted Everyday Pasta by one of my favorites Giada De Laurentiis.  I was looking for something hearty and easy and this casserole-style pasta dish sounded perfect.  It was delicious and easy and would be a great make ahead weeknight meal.  It reminded me of a lighter baked mac and cheese.  The flavors here are really mild so I might suggest adding some more herbs so that it packs more of a punch-- basil or oregano would work well here.

Also, I misread the recipe when I went shopping for ingredients and mistakenly thought it called for cooked chicken so I bought a rotisserie chicken breast at the store instead of raw chicken.  It ended up working out just fine though-- all I did was skip the steps where it prompt you to cook the chicken and went straight to cooking the onions instead.


  • 1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta) *I used Barilla White Fiber Mini Rotini
  • 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes) *This is where I used rotisserie chicken instead
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes with juice *I'd recommend the "no salt added" kind
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs *I used panko for extra crispiness
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • Additional butter or cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl.

Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

Place the mixture in a buttered 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of Everyday Pasta by Giada De Laurentiis


  1. this looks so freaking good! YUM!


    1. It was delish! Next time I'd pump up the flavor a little with some more herbs (fresh or dry), but otherwise it was a great (and easy) comfort food dinner!


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