This is what I made for my valentine and, aside from the mild kitchen disaster, it was quite a success. What mild kitchen disaster you ask? Well, let’s just say I learned the hard way to always ensure the lid is on tight before vigorously shaking a bottle of buffalo sauce. See Exhibit A:
Please notice that my glass of champagne was unharmed. I believe that was the Valentine’s Day magic at work. Enough about my clumsiness, let me tell you a little about this pasta. Do you like buffalo wings? Do you like cheese? If you answered “yes” to either of the above, you need to go make this pasta. Its a little bit spicy, a little bit fattening, and a little bit healthy (chicken breasts and whole wheat pasta!) A trifecta of greatness. Just please remember to keep your lids screwed on tight.
- 1 pound whole wheat pasta (I used penne)
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
- 1 TB butter
- 1 TB flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 4 ounces grated monterey jack cheese, plus more for topping
- 1/3 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
- 1/3 cup buffalo wing sauce
- 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 green onions, chopped (for garnish)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
- 1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Cook the pasta according to package instructions
3. While pasta is cooking, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter. Once butter is melted, add the flour and whisk together to create a roux. Cook for 1-2 minutes until golden. Add the milk, stir to combine. and turn the heat down to medium-low. Continue stirring until milk thickens, about 5-7 minutes.
4. Stir in the jack and cheddar cheeses until the mixture is smooth. Add the buffalo wing sauce and stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
5. Place the pasta and shredded chicken in the prepared baking dish, then pour cheese sauce over and mix throughly until everything is coated. Sprinkle with additional grated cheese and bread crumbs.
6. Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately top with green onions, cilantro, and gorgonzola if using. Drizzle with additional buffalo wing sauce to taste.
Source: Adapted from How Sweet It Is