Baked Rigatoni with Chicken and Eggplant

Baked Rigatoni with Chicken and Eggplant poppopcooks.com

We asked our daughter and her boyfriend over for dinner on sorta short notice and I had about 45 minutes to put something together. There was an eggplant leftover from a batch of Eggplant Lasagna the other night and we always have some chicken in the freezer. They both like pasta and our Marinara Sauce (of course) so I threw together some Baked Rigatoni with Chicken and Eggplant.

Baked Rigatoni with Chicken and Eggplant poppopcooks.comRigatoni is a short, large pasta noodle but you can use just about any kind of pasta you want. Get a pot of salted water on to boil and start the oven to preheating at 350F. When the water starts to boil add about half of a 1 lb. box of the pasta and stir it right away. Also stir it a few times as it cooks. When it is just slightly softened turn the heat off and let it sit.

Baked rigatoni with Chicken and Eggplant poppopcooks.comWhile the pasta routine is carrying on put a large skillet on medium high and add 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Cut two boneless skinless chicken breasts (or six boneless skinless thighs) into about half inch cubes. Put the chicken in the pan and toss right away. Keep tossing regularly as you get after the eggplant.

Baked Rigatoni with Chicken and Eggplant poppopcooks.comCut the ends off of a small eggplant and cut it up into the same size cubes as the chicken. If you only have a larger eggplant use half and save the unused half in the fridge with some plastic wrap covering the exposed part to keep it from turning brown. Add the eggplant to the pan and toss right away. Sprinkle about a tbsp. each of salt and pepper. Toss regularly so it all cooks evenly.

Baked Rigatoni with Chicken and Eggplant poppopcooks.comWhen the edges of the chicken and eggplant start to brown turn off the heat.

Baked rigatoni with Chicken and Eggplant poppopcooks.comIn a 9″ x 13″ baking pan very thinly spread some marinara sauce or canned  marinara sauce,  Optional, put some extra marinara in a sauce pan and gently heat it up for topping off the servings.  Then about a half of the pasta then about a half of the chicken/eggplant. Then a  thin layer of any good cheese you have on hand. We had some ricotta left over from a batch of Cheater Cannoli the other night.  Repeat the layer routine and this time with some sliced mozzarella. Thinly spread some sauce over the top and sprinkle some parmesan cheese all over it. Drizzle with some olive oil. Cover it with a piece of aluminum foil big enough to wrap it around the edges. Put it in the oven and bake it for about 20 minutes with the foil on. Remove the foil and bake it about another 10 minutes or until the mozzarella has melted and just starts to bubble.

Baked Rigatoni with Chicken and Eggplant poppopcooks.comServe up your Baked Rigatoni! Of course with some Chianti and some of your good homemade bread.

 

 

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Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
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Rating: 0
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Instructions
  1. Rigatoni is a short, large pasta noodle but you can use just about any kind of pasta you want. Get a pot of salted water on to boil and start the oven to preheating at 350F. When the water starts to boil add about half of a 1 lb. box of the pasta and stir it right away. Also stir it a few times as it cooks. When it is just slightly softened turn the heat off and let it sit.
  2. While the pasta routine is carrying on put a large skillet on medium high and add 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Cut two boneless skinless chicken breasts (or six boneless skinless thighs) into about half inch cubes. Put the chicken in the pan and toss right away. Keep tossing regularly as you get after the eggplant
  3. Cut the ends off of a small eggplant and cut it up into the same size cubes as the chicken. If you only have a larger eggplant use half and save the unused half in the fridge with some plastic wrap covering the exposed part to keep it from turning brown. Add the eggplant to the pan and toss right away. Sprinkle about a tbsp. each of salt and pepper. Toss regularly so it all cooks evenly. When the edges of the chicken and eggplant start to brown turn off the heat.
  4. In a 9" x 13" baking pan very thinly spread some marinara sauce or canned marinara sauce, Optional, put some extra marinara in a sauce pan and gently heat it up for topping off the servings. Then about a half of the pasta then about a half of the chicken/eggplant. Then a thin layer of any good cheese you have on hand. We had some ricotta left over from a batch of Cheater Cannoli the other night. Repeat the layer routine and this time with some sliced mozzarella. Thinly spread some sauce over the top and sprinkle some parmesan cheese all over it. Drizzle with some olive oil. Cover it with a piece of aluminum foil big enough to wrap it around the edges. Put it in the oven and bake it for about 20 minutes with the foil on. Remove the foil and bake it about another 10 minutes or until the mozzarella has melted and just starts to bubble.
  5. Serve it up! With some Chianti and some of your good bread.
    Baked Rigatoni with Chicken and Eggplant poppopcooks.com
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Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Your Shrimp Fra Diavolo is going to be easy to get ready and better than eating out. Have 10-12 large shrimp (or more if smaller) peeled, deveined  and ready to go. Put a pot of salted water on the stove for the pasta. When it starts to boil put in the pasta and stir it up right away to keep it from sticking together.

IMG_2178In the mean time put about 3 1/2 cups of marinara sauce in a skillet, that is big enough to handle the shrimp and the pasta, on at medium high. You can use your own sauce or some canned or jarred from the store. Add a tbsp. of red pepper flakes to the sauce and stir them in. When it starts to simmer lower it to medium. Add the shrimp and spread them out so they are all laying flat. Turn them over as soon as they start to get pink and do the other side.

IMG_2179The pasta should be a little firmer than al dente about now. Push the shrimp off to a side and spoon the pasta into the sauce. Add a spoon of the pasta water to the pan and mix it in. Let the pasta and the shrimp finish cooking together for about 1-2 minutes.

IMG_2180

Serve it up with your favorite wine and some warm homemade bread.

Buono Appetito!!

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Shrimp Fra diavolo is shrimp in a spicy marinara sauce.
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Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10-15 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10-15 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Have 10-12 large shrimp (or more if smaller) peeled and deveined ready to go. Put a pot of salted water on the stove for the pasta. When it starts to boil put in the pasta and stir it up right away to keep it from sticking together.
  2. In the mean time put about 3 1/2 cups of marinara sauce in a skillet, that is big enough to handle the shrimp and the pasta, on at medium high. You can use your own sauce or some canned or jarred from the store. Add a tbsp. of red pepper flakes to the sauce and stir them in. When it starts to simmer lower it to medium. Add the shrimp and spread them out so they are all laying flat. Turn them over as soon as they start to get pink and do the other side.
  3. The pasta should be a little firmer than al dente about now. Push the shrimp off to a side and spoon the pasta into the sauce. Add a spoon of the pasta water to the pan and mix it in. Let the pasta and the shrimp finish cooking together for about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Serve it up with your favorite wine and some warm homemade bread. Buona Appetite!!
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Chicken Florentine an easy way!

Chicken Florentine is a favorite of ours, our family and our friends. Two of our granddaughters helped me make it once and it became extra special from then on. 

IMG_2238You could pound some halves of chicken breasts flat and keep them in the freezer ready to go. We also keep a bag of tenders that we buy frozen and keep them on hand. Put a frying pan big enough to handle the chicken pieces on the stove at medium high and a pot with salted water to boil for the pasta. Salt, pepper and garlic powder one side of the chicken. Place the chicken in the pan seasoned side down and then season the up side. Cook them for about three minutes a side or until you are satisfied that they are cooked through. The juices will run clear and they will be firm to a finger poke. Squeeze the chicken over to the side and put the spinach on the exposed portion of the pan. Turn it and let it get barely wilted.

IMG_2240Spread the chicken out again and cover it with the spinach. Top the spinach with the mozzarella. Surround the chicken with the marinara. When the pasta is al dente add it to the sauce and gently turn it over to let it get covered with the sauce. 

IMG_2242

 

When the cheese has melted serve it up! With some chianti and some good bread.

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Chicken Florentine BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list Yum
Chicken Florentine is basicly chicken with spinach. It can be served with cream sauce, wine sauce, tomato sauce, etc.
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Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
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Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
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Instructions
  1. You could pound some halves of chicken breasts flat and keep them in the freezer ready to go. We also keep a bag of tenders that we buy frozen and keep them on hand. Put a frying pan big enough to handle the chicken pieces on the stove at medium high and a pot with salted water to boil for the pasta. Salt, pepper and garlic powder one side of the chicken. Place the chicken in the pan seasoned side down and then season the up side. Cook them for about three minutes a side or until you are satisfied that they are cooked through. The juices will run clear and they will be firm to a finger poke. Squeeze the chicken over to the side and put the spinach on the exposed portion of the pan. Turn it and let it get barely wilted.
  2. Spread the chicken out again and cover it with the spinach. Top the spinach with the mozzarella. Surround the chicken with the marinara. When the pasta is al dente add it to the sauce and gently turn it over to let it get covered with the sauce.
  3. When the cheese has melted serve it up!
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