Recipe

Chicken and pumpkin pasta bake

Pick up a cooked chicken on your way home from work and you can have this delicious and hearty meal on the table soon after you walk in the front door.

  • 45 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
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Ingredients

Chicken and pumpkin pasta bake
  • 700 gram (1½-pound) piece pumpkin
  • 1/2 barbecued chicken (450g)
  • 375 gram (12 ounces) large rigatoni pasta
  • 150 gram (4½ ounces) baby spinach leaves
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) pouring cream
  • 1/2 cup (50g) pizza cheese
  • 2 tablespoon pine nuts

Method

Chicken and pumpkin pasta bake
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F.
  • 2
    Place the piece of pumpkin in a medium microwave-safe bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Microwave on HIGH (100%) for 15 minutes or until cooked.
  • 3
    When cool enough to handle; remove the pumpkin from the bowl with tongs and put it on a board. Cut away the skin; scoop out the seeds and throw them away. Cut the pumpkin into slices.
  • 4
    Spray an oven tray with the cooking oil; place the pumpkin slices on the tray, in a single layer. Spray with the cooking oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 20 minutes or until tender when tested with a fork.
  • 5
    Meanwhile, using your hands, remove the chicken meat from the bones; break the chicken meat into large chunks.
  • 6
    Half-fill a large saucepan with water; put a lid on the pan. Heat on the stove over high heat until the water boils. Add the pasta; cook, uncovered, until it is tender (check the instructions on the packet for how long this should take). Place a colander over a large heatproof bowl in the sink. Pour the pasta into the colander; reserve about ¼ cup of the cooking liquid in the bowl and drain the rest down the sink. Return pasta to the pan.
  • 7
    Add the chicken, spinach, cream and the reserved cooking liquid to the pasta in the pan; mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • 8
    Spoon the pasta mixture into a 2-litre (8-cup) ovenproof dish. Tuck the pumpkin into the pasta mixture; sprinkle with the cheese and nuts.
  • 9
    Place the dish on an oven tray; place into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the top is golden.

Notes

When removing plastic wrap from a hot microwave bowl, remove the wrap away from you to allow the steam to escape.

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