This dish was a happy accident in my kitchen. It was one of those moments when I had bits and pieces of ingredients, but, I had to get creative about how to stretch them into a pasta bake. I had roasted chicken, left over pasta from another project, spinach that was closing in on it's expiration date, a handful of sun dried tomatoes, half a jar of prepared basil pesto....and a couple of jars of Alfredo sauce in my pantry. I literally cleaned out my fridge when I made this dish, and it ended up leaving my family yellin' for more!
1Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a 4 quart/11x7 inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a large stove top pot, over medium heat cook the diced onion in a couple of drizzles of olive oil until translucent. Season with salt and pepper to your taste and add the crushed red pepper flakes for a little kick! I'm using a large pot, because it's going to double as my mixing bowl.
To the pot add both jars of Alfredo sauce, 1/2 cup of milk, and the cream cheese. Simmer on low heat until the cream cheese melts. Add 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup of basil pesto, 3 cups chopped roasted chicken, 1/3 cup of sun dried tomatoes, and 1 1/4 cups of shredded Italian cheese blend. Stir well. Add the hot pasta and the entire package of baby spinach. Stir over low heat until the spinach wilts into the sauce. This will only take a couple of minutes. If you'd like your sauce a little thinner, add extra milk and stir, stir, stir!!
Pour the mixture into the baking dish and sprinkle the remaining shredded Italian cheese blend on top. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and toss with the crumbs. I used Italian herb flat breads, that I crushed with a rolling pin. Sprinkle the crumbs over the pasta. Place into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden and the edges are bubbly. Serve hot. Yield: 6-8 servings
Sun dried tomatoes are packed in oil. I like to rinse the oil from the tomatoes for this dish, so that it won't overpower the sauce.