Chicken Pot Pasta

 I've told you before about how my wee ones love Chicken Pie. They gobble it up, and I couldn't be happier to have a healthy meal that's a hit with everyone. Isaac is my picky-eater who frequently requests things like "plain chicken", "no sauce on mine", and "leave off the spicy." Chicken Pie fits the bill as plain enough for him, and tasty enough for the rest of us. (Can I just use all this "plain talk" as an opportunity to ask people to cease using the expression "Plain Jane?" I think my dislike for it is self-explanatory.)

I didn't feel like making pie crust the other day - actually, to be honest, I didn't feel like washing the food processor, which I use to make my pie crust. (Am I the only one that makes decisions based on laziness like this?!) I remembered seeing a recipe for all the flavours of Chicken Pie in a pasta, so I thought I'd create something similar. My version is below, which was inspired and adapted from this recipe

1 Tblsp olive oil
2 ribs celery, stalks and leaves, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic
2 T flour
2 T butter
2 C stock (chicken, vegetable, or a combination)
4 C cooked pasta (about 1/2 Lb)
1 C cooked chopped chicken
2 C leftover or frozen vegetables
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a small pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and celery. Cook, stirring regularly, until softened. Add garlic and lower heat to medium, continuing to stir regularly until very fragrant and very soft. Set aside.

Melt butter in a small pot over medium heat. (Go ahead and use the same pot that cooked the onion/celery mixture...less dishes to wash!) Stir in flour until smooth and bubbly. Gradually whisk stock to combine. Bring to a boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool slightly.

Combine cooked pasta, cooked chicken, onion mixture, and vegetables. Add sauce and stir to coat. Place in a 2-quart casserole dish with a lid. Cover and bake at 350' for about 20-25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

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