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Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina

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this was great! pretty easy to make. Chris really liked it and I was afraid he wouldn’t. He chose the orzo. I wanted pastina, because I LOVE pastina, but he sadly does not! I was also thinking this would be nice with Israeil couscous or maybe ditalini. Definitely will be making again!

Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients
1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta, I used Orzo)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes, I used about a pound of chicken tenders)
1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion, I used a whole onion)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I omitted)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (I used pecorino romano)
1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish (I didn’t butter the dish, just sprayed with my olive oil misto)

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl.

Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Place the mixture in a buttered 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

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