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Chicken and Artichoke Baked Pasta

Posted Oct 08 2012 10:23pm

Let’s make a list today. List-making takes up about 25% of every day for me (my post-it usage is ridiculous), so we’re just going to start early this morning.

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Today’s topic?

Things I’m scared of.

Someone breaking into the house. Being followed – mostly, on foot, because I am not a fast runner. Falling off a high place. I’m clumsy anyway, so this is somewhat possible. Being eaten by a big animal – bear, shark, wolf, etc.

Basically, anything that goes bump in the night makes me jump out of bed.

I kid you not – just last week, Nick and I were laying in bed and I jumped when I heard a noise coming from the kitchen. "What was that?”, I asked, my heart already racing. “It was ice cubes from the ice maker in the fridge” Nick said. That didn’t sound like ice cubes being made, I thought; it sounded like someone trying to break in. Then I had to work to get my heart rate back down before I could even think about sleeping.

Am I the only crazy one that jumps to the worst conclusions all the time?

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I thought maybe I was the only one that thought like this, but I’m not .

I’m pretty sure this article was written for me, by someone who is just like me. I read it out loud to Nick last night and he honestly thought I had written it. That’s how true it is. Eyelash cancer – it could be a thing.

I really am scared of everything, and not just big life things like crazy people and accidents. I’m scared of giving the wrong answer and answering the phone when it’s a number I don’t know.

And I’m still scared of whole artichokes.

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I know. Artichokes aren’t scary. I’m just completely intimidated. It also doesn’t help that I can’t get them here very often. I’ve never had a whole artichoke to work with and they freak me out a little bit.

So I totally took the easy way out with this pasta and used jarred artichoke hearts. Why take my chance with a knife and strange vegetable when someone else has done the work for me?

One day, I’ll cook my own artichokes. Until then, I’m going to be worrying about something else in the kitchen.

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Chicken and Artichoke Baked Pasta

Makes: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. whole wheat or brown rice short pasta
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 cups evaporated skim milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1 cup roasted tomatoes , chopped or 1 cup crushed or fresh chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound chicken breast, cooked and diced
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and stir in the pasta with the tablespoon of salt. Cook the pasta, stirring every few minutes, for 7-9 minutes until the pasta is just tender. Drain the pasta and set aside.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and stir in the flour, letting the mixture cook for 1-2 minutes over low heat until the flour is incorporated into the oil.
  4. Slowly pour the milk into the flour and oil mixture, add the salt and pepper, and bring the milk to a low simmer. Cook the sauce for about 10 minutes on low until the sauce has thickened.
  5. Pour the sauce onto the pasta and toss together. Stir the chopped artichokes, chopped tomatoes, and diced cooked chicken in with the pasta.
  6. Pour the pasta into a greased baking dish and sprinkle the cheese across the top.
  7. Bake at 375 for 25-35 minutes until the cheese is melted and the pasta is hot.
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