Chicken-pasta casserole with courgette, carrots, bacon and a creamy tomato sauce
Today’s recipe is actually kind of special for me since it was the very first recipe I ever tried out for my family and I’ve been making it at least once a month ever since! I found it in a Dutch cookbook called ‘The Complete Pasta Kitchen’ many years ago but I’ve made my own version of since. I’ve made it for myself, for friends, for my mom/dad/brother/sister and even for my dad’s entire family and it’s always been a big success. It doesn’t happen that often anymore now that I follow a recipe word for word or even make the same recipe from a cook book as much as I do this one, it has to be my favourite casserole of all and I swear it beats mac & cheese on every single level.
Now granted, when I first read it, there was one ingredient that seemed a bit odd, even for an completely unexperienced cook: tomato soup. I wasn’t too sure what to expect of it at first but whoever came up with that idea should get a medal for it! The flavour you get from the soup is just so special and there’s just no way this recipe would’ve been as good if it had been tomato sauce instead of soup. So please just give this odd ingredient a chance and whatever you do: don’t replace it with tomato sauce!
Avoid too many pots/pans
I somehow also always end up with an insane amount of leftovers, which is obviously something most of my friends or colleagues love about this recipe. Now it does require quite a lot of preparation and cooking, but with some of my tips below you should be able to minimise the amount of cleaning up you’ll have to do afterwards.
When I first made this recipe I ended up with a massive pile of dishes to clean up but over the years I’ve managed to come up with the perfect way to make this recipe only using 1 pot, 1 pan and 1 casserole. The trick is to boil/cook your pasta while you’re chopping up all the vegetables and meat. That way the pasta will be done once everything else is ready to go and you can use that pot to cook everything else. So once the pasta is done, put it in the casserole already and simply put it to the side, it might cool down a bit but that’s no problem at all since we’ll be putting it all in the oven at the end.
If you have any leftovers for the next day, put it in the microwave in a microwave-proof dish with a little bit of water in a small glass or jar next to it, this will keep the pasta & the sauce nice and creamy. If you put it back in the oven or don’t put some water in the microwave as well, you’ll risk ending up with dried out pasta, which wouldn’t taste as good
|500g pasta shells or macaroni|
|200g smoked streaky bacon|
|1 large onion|
|20cl sour cream|
|460ml cream of tomato soup try to find a soup with at least 85% tomatoes in it|
|275g Emmental cheese (grated)|
|400g chicken breast|