Pesto Chicken Penne Casserole
This was excellent. I did have to leave out the milk because I didn't have enough, so I filled the alfredo sauce jar half-full with water and shook it to get the least of the sauce out of the jar. I used that water/sauce mixture (about 8 oz) in place of the milk.
One thing I learned was that my largest Pyrex bowl (a HUGE, yellow bowl from that classic four-color/four bowl set our grandmothers used) was only barely large enough to stir the sauce/chicken/spinach/cheese mixture. I ended up putting on latex gloves and working it together with my hands. I had to do the same thing when I added the sauce mixture to the cooked pasta, as the pot in which I cooked the pasta was barely large enough to hold the entire pasta/sauce mixture, let alone stir it. When I make this again, I will use my largest stainless steel bowl and a huge stock pot that I usually reserve for canning. That way, I know I'll have enough room to thoroughly mix the ingredients without making a mess or needing to use my hands. So, that's my advice. If you think the bowl you're using is large enough, pick one that is even larger before you start cooking.
The entire mixture fit into 2 casserole dishes--one 9x13 and an 8x8, which I refrigerated (uncooked) and sent home with a guest, along with the recipe.
This dish was flavorful, easy to serve, and needed no additions. Some people added some shredded Romano cheese and a bit of cracked black pepper, but others enjoyed it exactly as it was.
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Jan. 15, 2012