Don?t be ?Alfredo? a little pasta and cheese

There are some times when you experience something so horrifying that you just feel the need to share your misery with others, and this is one of those times.

My dear, dear husband recently uttered these spine-chilling words to me: ?I think I?d like to try cutting carbs.?

Scary, right?

OK, so maybe it?s only scary to a Kansas-born, bread-and-potato-loving cook.

Luckily, I got one awesome, carb-filled meal in under the radar before we began trying to limit the pasta in our lives. Come to think of it, this meal is so good, it might have been one of the reasons he uttered those frightening words in the first place.

This recipe comes from the blog ?Gimme Some Oven,? and you can find the original post at http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/chicken-alfredo-baked-ziti-recipe/#_a5y_p=2411477. I made this pretty close to the original recipe, but I?ll also note where you can cut some corners if you?re on a time crunch.

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Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti

Ingredients

12 ounces tubular pasta

2 cups shredded, cooked chicken (use a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken to save time)

1 batch Alfredo sauce (recipe for homemade listed below, or use your favorite jarred kind)

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Alfredo Sauce Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

6-8 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons flour

1 cup chicken broth (or use bouillon)

1 cup milk (I used one-percent)

3/4 cup Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

(If you?re making your own Alfredo sauce, start here; otherwise, skip down to preheating the oven.)

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and saut? the garlic until it begins to be aromatic (about one minute).

Sprinkle with flour and stir; cook the flour for about one minute (this gets rid of the flour taste).

Add the broth and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Make sure to get all the bits off the bottom of the pan (it may turn your sauce a funny color, but it will taste really good).

Whisk in the milk and get the pan to a simmer, stirring regularly, until the sauce thickens slightly.

Add the Parmesan, salt and pepper, and stir until the cheese is melted.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cook the pasta according to package instructions (this is good to do while you?re making your sauce).

Drain the pasta and put it back in the same pot.

Add the sauce and chicken, and stir to coat everything with the Alfredo.

Pour half of the mixture into a greased, oven-safe 9×13-inch pan and sprinkle with half the mozzarella cheese.

Add the rest of the pasta mixture and top with the remaining cheese.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese on top is beginning to brown.

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This was a really yummy dinner, and it reheated really well, too. I ended up sauteing my garlic in the same pan that I?d already cooked chicken breasts in, and it really added a nice extra flavor to my sauce.

And even though we?re going to strive to eat healthier at our house, I don?t think I?ll be tossing out this recipe any time soon. I might need some comfort food if the next thing Joey announces we should give up is ice cream, or heaven forbid, chocolate.

When not helping husband Joey with newspaper work, Lindsey teaches speech, debate and forensics at Haven High School. She can be reached at lindseyclarion@gmail.com.