Artichoke Spinach Sundried Chicken Pasta Bake

Pin It Long name for a pasta bake, but when it was time to name this dish, there wasn't a main ingredient I could leave out.  Artichokes?  The dish wouldn't be the same without!  Spinach?  Maybe some would say sure, but I am passionate about spinach in a way Popeye is.   Sundrieds?  Nope.  They bring the perfect pop of flavor, and Sundrieds from Italy put this dish over the top!   Chicken?  Those juicy tender chunks of white meat were a must in my book.  So you see, every ingredient adds a special something to this one, it just wouldn't be right so give one ingredient more credit than the next.  I was looking for a make ahead dish to have with Paul's parents when they got to town on Sunday evening, and was inspired by a make ahead casserole from Iowa Girl Eats (love her blog!).  I like make ahead dishes for guests, then you don't have to worry about what's going on with the food, but can "visit" with your company.  Even though we didn't end up eating it until Monday (which maybe made it even better, I will never know) because a little dish by the name of Belgian Beef Stew or more appropriately, Carbonnade à la Flammande (in French) or Stoofvlees (in Dutch) got in the way (I'm not complaining).  Only the best Belgian dish ever... more on that later.  Where was I?  Oh yeah, make ahead dish!  I came across this fabulous Artichoke Spinach Sundried Chicken Pasta Bake.  I know I say fabulous, amazing, the best, etc. a lot, but this flavor packed pasta bake was by far the best one I have ever made.  Okay, so I also use superlatives in excess, but this was really the BEST!!  Was it the sundrieds or the mix of melty gooey cheeses or the artichokes?  I have no idea, but this dish came together perfectly.  Only regret: ran out of camera battery and had to use the point and shoot, for the final pics and they didn't turn out that great.  This one is definitely going in the rotation, so I will get another pic next time.

A little purple, green, red and ... beige?  Either way, looks appetizing. 
Mmmmmm. And we aren't done yet.  (Although, the pre-dish looks better than the done dish.)  

 Artichoke Spinach Sundried Chicken Pasta Bake
adapted from Iowa Girl Eats (great blog!) and BHG

4 small Chicken Breast, cooked and cut into cubes (I used the same method as I did in Chicken Broccoli Casserole with Rice, including rubbing them with a little paprika)
8 oz. (dry) bow tie pasta, cooked (it doesn't look like much, but you don't need more!)
2 shallots
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbs butter
1 can of artichokes, drained
1 1/3 c fresh spinach
1/2 c sundried tomatoes
 2 eggs
1 1/4 c milk
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 tsp Paprika
3/4 c shredded gouda
3/4 c shredded gruyere
2 Tbs grated Pecorino Romano (or Parmesan, I had Pecorino on hand)
Freshly ground pepper
1 piece whole wheat bread, dried
1 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp Paprika
2 Tbsp grated Pecorino Romano


Preheat oven to 350 F.  
Start by rubbing paprika on the chicken breasts.  Once covered with paprika, put a dash of cracked pepper on the top.  Bake in oven until internal temperature is 165 degrees.

While chicken is baking, chop the shallots and mince the garlic.  Saute them with 1 Tbsp of butter over medium heat until softened.  Chop spinach, sundrieds, and quarter the artichokes.

Cut cooked chicken into cubes.  

Mix 2 eggs, milk, spices, cheeses, noodles, spinach, sundrieds, artichokes, chicken and softened onions and garlic in a large bowl.  Layer mixture into a greased baking dish.  Refrigerated up to one day until ready to bake or bake immediately.

Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes.  While baking, use a food processor to make your bread crumbs.  Combine the bread and paprika and blend.  Mix the crumbs with 1 Tbsp melted butter.  Top your pasta with bread crumbs and shredded Pecorino Romano.  Bake for 10-15 minutes until hot and bubbly.  Serve right away and save some for leftovers, please!!!!

Bon Apetit!  Refer to the photos from Iowa Girl Eats and BHG if this photo isn't appetizing enough.  Trust me, you want need to make this pasta bake ASAP
No that's not ground beef.  My breadcrumbs are looking a little beefy.  Use your food processor they will look nicer (need to get one of those when I move back to the States!).

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