Any shape pasta will work, but it is usually made with vermicelli or broke up spaghetti. It is such a versatile dish and makes a great dish to use up leftover chicken and veggies. I recommend adding the 2nd cup of cheese to this, but it is not essential – the gouda adds another layer of flavor and creaminess. I hardly ever add almonds to anything because my boys don’t like them…didn’t really need them as the parmesan makes a nice topping by itself.
1 pkg chicken thighs – cooked and chopped or shredded
8 oz. pasta, cooked
1/2 C butter
1/2 C onions, chopped
1/4 C green pepper, chopped fine
1/2 C flour
3 C milk
1 C chicken stock (from cooking your chicken parts)
2 C Parmesan cheese (save 1 C for topping)
1 C of another cheese – I used gouda
6 oz jar of mushrooms or about 1 heaping C of sliced fresh mushrooms* (opt)
3/4 C of slivered almonds (opt)
1 C frozen peas (opt)
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350º.
Cook your pasta.
In a cooking pot, melt butter and sauté onions and green pepper *(if using fresh mushrooms, sauté them here). When onions are nearly translucent, add flour, stir to coat and cook several minutes but don’t let it brown. Slowly whisk in the milk and stock over a medium heat. Whisk nearly constantly for 8 to 10 minutes until mixture is thickened and bubbling. Season with salt and pepper. Add in 1 C Parmesan cheese and 1 C of the other cheese you selected. Remove from heat and add chicken, mushrooms, peas, and cooked pasta.
Spoon into buttered baking dish (13×9) and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and almonds.
Bake 35 min until bubbly.