When it comes to sauces, I’m a bit of an alfredo sauce junkie. Maybe it’s the garlic. Or the parmesan. Or the fact that it’s a cream sauce. Quite possibly though, it’s all of the above…and that’s just fine with me. I’ve been searching for a really good homemade sauce that I can make in my own kitchen, and a successful experiment was conducted in my kitchen here recently. Although that last batch was served with ravioli instead of regular pasta, it was absolutely delicious. My ultimate little taste testing toddler daughter loved her dinner, and told me several times, “Mommy, this is yummy in the tummy!” That, ladies and gentlemen, is when you know something tastes good.
This time though, it was served as a baked alfredo dish. Lately I’ve been experimenting with freezer meals. If you’re not familiar with freezer meals, they’re absolutely wonderful…homemade meals that are made ahead of time, stored in the freezer, defrosted the day before and popped in the oven for 30 minutes. This is especially wonderful if you want home cooked meals for your family, but don’t have time to make them every single day. Making it in a larger batch, spooning half of it into a foil pan and sealing it up actually creates TWO meals, and that’s how this recipe is prepared. So, you can either make this dish as two meals and save one for later, or make one really big dish. Directions follow below.
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Heat oil in skillet on medium heat. Cook chicken until almost a light golden brown, then sprinkle pepper and add garlic. Continue cooking until a light golden brown and cooked all the way through.
4 cups heavy cream
4 sticks butter
8 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Heat butter in large sauce pan on stove at medium heat. Once melted, add garlic and cook for one minute. Add cream. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens. This could take anywhere from 20-40 minutes, depending on cooking temperature. When sauce reaches desired consistency, stir in parmesan and pepper, continue cooking on low heat for 2 minutes, or until parmesan is melted.
2 cups grated mozzarella
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook penne or rotini pasta according to package (add salt to the water and make sure the water is boiling BEFORE adding the pasta, this helps ensure a good texture during the cooking process). After pasta, sauce, and chicken are cooked, combine in a large bowl and stir together until mixed well. Spoon into a 9×13 inch baking dish and bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Take a short cut!! Don’t have time to make the alfredo sauce from scratch? No problem! Use 3 jars of storebought alfredo sauce!
Make a Freezer Meal!! Evenly distribute between two 8 inch foil pans or one 9×13 inch foil pan, sprinkle half of cheeses on top of each pan. Wrap with plastic wrap, place plastic lid on top. Store in freezer. The night before you want to eat the meal, place in the refrigerator to defrost. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Enjoy!