“From morning till night, sounds drift from the kitchen, most of them familiar and comforting. On days when warmth is the most important need of the human heart, the kitchen is the place you can find it; it dries the wet sock, it cools the hot little brain.”

Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake … this was one of those meals made on the trot, rummaging through the fridge, cleaning out whatever I could use. Then came the daughters’ call to her brother,  “Whatever she is making smells REALLY good“. One fork dug deep in later, “Man, this is GOOD! Wow!”

Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake It turned out to be an indulgent, comforting meal in a bowl for days like we are experiencing. Cold Cold Cold. Temperatures nearly dipping into the freezer, 1-2° C range, no central heating, hands as cold as ice. Cooking feels good, stirring a pot over a warm fire quite comforting. Chopping is ugh; then again, there needs to be a means to the end I guess. The upside? Loads of fresh winter vegetables. L O A D S!

Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake I’ve made the most of mushrooms, bell peppers and broccoli this season. Mushrooms are dicey though as the older teen cannot stand them, so I need to sneak them in. This time they hid under some lovely garlic butter and olive oil, then disappeared deep into Worcestershire sauce! Life does get so delicious sometimes….

Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake This was one of those times in the kitchen when I felt like The Pioneer Woman or then the Domestic Goddess. Every pat of  butter, every dribble of cream seemed justified in this incessantly cold weather. I cannot even begin to tell you how wonderful the kitchen smelt … warm, garlicky, buttery and oh-so-comforting! Sometimes that little bit of extra fat makes life so much more worthwhile.

Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake 7The mushrooms were kept veggie company with bell peppers and garlic greens. I love the added flavour garlic greens lend to a dish. Mushrooms and Worcestershire sauce also make for great pairing. I didn’t know that but tasting en-route endorsed it. For that matter rosemary, buttah and chicken make for great bedfellows too.

Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake The creamy chicken was meant to be served over pasta, but the kids woke up really late. That meant a late lunch so I figured I could bake it altogether briefly. It’s wonderful how the creamy sauce got into every little crevice of the pasta. A quick grating of mozzarella and a handsome dash of smoked paprika {from Juberfam & Mittal; excellent stuff} made us all sing out loud.

Juberfam & Mittal gourmet products  This is a good one bowl meal, warming, filling, indulgent with some oven roasted potato wedges on the side. Oh, and a warm broccoli salad too. Crisp, full of flavour and really nice. Thankfully, broccoli has ended the battle of the greens with the kids! They know 6-7 florets are ‘mandatory‘; now quite enjoy it. I am yet to win the battle of the cauliflower!

Broccoli SaladThe salad plate is a classic white one from Urban Dazzle. It’s reasonably priced and one that I really really like. Aesthetically designed, slightly tilted and handy to have on hand, it beautifully doubled up as a cake platter on my recent Tea Rose Fondant Cake.

Tea Rose Fondant Cake It’s got a nice rounded base which tends to hold any extra dressing juices. Keeps the salad from getting soggy.

Broccoli Salad The tilt towards the front gives it a good feel. I served a cold potato buttermilk salad in it a few days ago. That is one of our favourites and a great way to enjoy spuds! YUM!

Cold potato salad

Before I go on to the recipe, I’d like to thank Turmeric n Spice for having me over in her series “Inspiration form the Blogging Community“. I truly enjoyed being there.

[print_this]Recipe: Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake your picture

Summary: Creamy, cheesy, indulgent and comforting, this is a great one bowl meal for cold winter days. Make ahead and bake just before serving. Maybe you can do a broccoli salad and oven baked wedges alongside. Serves 6-8

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp extra vigin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 200g button mushrooms, sliced fine
  • 750g chicken thigh tenders, cut into bite sized pieces
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bell peppers {1red/1yellow}, chopped fine
  • 4-5 garlic greens, chopped fine with stalks
  • 1.5 tbsp plain flour
  • 1.5 cups plain milk
  • 200ml low fat cream {or half & half}
  • 50g cheddar, grated
  • 350g fusilli, cooked al dente
  • 100g mozzarella, grated
  • 1tsp smoked sweet paprika {from Juberfam & Mittal}


  1. Heat butter and olive oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add the chili flakes, dried rosemary and garlic. Saute until garlic turns light golden and fragrant.
  2. Add the mushrooms, sprinkle a little salt and saute over high heat until mushrooms turn golden brown and give up all their moisture. Add the Worcestershire sauce and mix well; then add the chicken tenders. Season with salt and pepper and saute over high heat until lightly browned.
  3. Sprinkle over the flour, mix to coat chicken pieces, and then pour in the milk. Stir continuously until the sauce thickens.
  4. Reduce heat to simmer, add the cream and grated cheddar and simmer for 5-7 minutes. 
  5. Stir in the chopped bell peppers and garlic greens, taste and adjust seasoning, then stir in the cooked pasta. 
  6. Divide the pasta and chicken mixture into serving dishes, casseroles etc, top with grated mozzarella, sprinkle over smoked paprika and some more garlic greens if you like.
  7. Bake at 180C for 15 minutes, allow to stand for 10 minutes and serve.

Recipe: Simple Broccoli Salad your picture

Summary: Crisp, flavourful brocolli salad.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

  • 2-3 heads of broccoli, broken into florets
  • 1-2 tsp salt and 4-5 cups water
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Dressing
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, sliced fine
  • 1-2 tbsp pickled red & green peppers {or jalapenos}, sliced
  • 1 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • Sea salt & pepper


  1. Blanch the florets in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, drain well and toss in 1 tbsp of olive oil. Reserve.
  2. Dressing
  3. Heat remaining olive oil in small saucepan, add the garlic and sliced pickled peppers. Simmer until the garlic is fragrant and light golden.
  4. Add the sesame seeds and simmer until they turn light brown and begin popping.
  5. Pour over broccoli, toss, grind pepper over it, throw in some sea salt and serve warm or at room temperature.


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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India