So tonight I was the only one home when it time to start cooking, because my sweet mother in law stepped in to help my husband clean the apartment while I visited my sister, brother in law, and brand new perfect nephew. I was in the mood to cook again, but didn't have much inspiration for the evening. So I made pasta again, its a go to. Close to stuff I have done before, yet different enough to have a distinctly different flavor. So I hope you enjoy.
Baked Rotini with Pesto Alfredo and Chicken or Beef
1 lb rotini, again, I used whole wheat
4 chicken tenders cut into bite sized pieces, or about 1/4 lb sliced flank steak (I used stir fry pre-sliced steak)
2 roma tomatoes, diced
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
3 c milk
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
3 to 4 tbsp pesto sauce
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
Bring large pot of water to a boil, generously salted. Cook pasta to pkg directions in water, then drain. Set aside. Melt butter in a small saucepan, and then add onion and garlic; saute til onion is tender. Add flour, and stir til onion and garlic are coated and butter absorbed. Add milk and stir til smooth. Stir in pesto, Parmesan, and then add tomatoes. Simmer over low heat.
Cook chicken or beef in a bit of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss sauce and meat with pasta and pour into baking dish. Top with more Parmesan cheese and breadcrumb and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
**NOTE** I made both chicken and beef because my father in law doesn't like chicken. I just split the pasta in half and tossed it separately with the chicken and the beef, and poured into small 8x8 square pans, rather than the full sized 9x13.