2lbscooked chicken breastcubed or shredded, or one rotisserie chicken.
8ozbutton mushrooms thickly sliced
1medium onion finely chopped
5garlic cloves minced
For the Creamy Sauce:
1tspsalt or to taste
1/4tspblack pepperfreshly ground
1/4cupparsleychopped, plus more to garnish
2cupsshredded mozzarella cheese
Cook the pasta in salted boiling water to al dente then drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
Add butter to a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat then saute mushrooms until they start to soften and turn golden. add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes or until translucent while mixing.
Add garlic and cook an additional minute. Once fragrant and softened, remove from heat and transfer the mixture to a bowl. Place back on medium-high heat, add 1/4 cup butter and whisk in the flour once melted. Cook for about a minute while whisking to make the roux.
Whisk in the chicken stock, season with salt and pepper then whisk in the milk and finally the cream. Once thickened add the mushroom and onion mixture along with the chicken, parsley, and pasta to the cream sauce then fold together so everything is well distributed. As you mix sprinkle in a cup of shredded mozzarella and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese.
Transfer to 9x13 casserole dish, smooth out and top with remaining mozzarella cheese.
bake at 375F for 30 minutes or until bubbling and golden.
You can leave out the chicken and use vegetable stock to make this vegetarian.
When making the sauce add the liquids (stick, milk, and cream) in gradually allowing the mixture to thicken each time. The sauce thickens much quicker this way.
You can tell the sauce is thick enough by drawing a line with your finger over the back of a wooden spoon. If it holds it's ready but if it drips over the line it needs cooking for a few minutes more.
Butter adds a ton of flavor so try not to skip it, you can use olive oil if you need to.
The onion and garlic add the best flavor to this dish so they must be fresh don't use any powders instead.
You can use any kind of milk you like but I find that whole milk works best for adding richness and flavor.
Don't like mushrooms? no problem you can leave them out or substitute them for a different vegetable such as peas, spinach or broccoli.
You can prepare the sauce and noodles in advance, let them cool, assemble then store in the fridge until you are ready to bake or it can be frozen and baked straight from frozen (50-60 minutes).