MODERN NEGRESCO WITH VEGGIES

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As much as I love creating new recipes from scratch, I also adore re-visiting classical dishes & playing around with the ingredients to give them a new vibe.

I was never a big fan of Negresco honestly, especially the taste of boiled chicken, which in my point of view, overpowered everything else. But I liked the concept of adding chicken to oven baked pasta so I decided to give traditional Negresco a new twist. 

In this recipe, the bechamel is made light without any butter & flavored with soy sauce & mustard giving it an amazing kick. Also, the chicken is pan seared in olive oil & tossed with A LOT of veggies which increases the nutritional value of the whole dish & gives a new dimension to the boring taste of plain chicken.

This dish can be prepared ahead of time & baked right before serving. Also, it freezes really well; just thaw overnight in the fridge & bake.

MODERN NEGRESCO

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 x 400 gm pack spaghetti cooked (little less than al dente)

For the bechamel sauce:

  • 1 liter milk half skimmed
  • 1/2 cup flour (or 1/4 cup flour & 1/4 cup whole wheat flour)
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • salt & pepper

For the chicken:

  • 250 gm chicken fillet thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup tomato finely diced
  • 1/2 cup red pepper finely diced
  • 1/2 cup yellow pepper finely diced
  • 1 cup fresh mushroom slices
  • 1/2 cup green or black olives slices
  • 1/4 cup parsley leaves minced
  • 1 tsp lemon zest (optional)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper

For the upper layer:

  • shredded mozzarella
  • grated parmesan

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 180 C.
  • Prepare the chicken: Heat a large pan over high heat until hot. Add the olive oil & sear the chicken on both sides until slightly golden. Toss all the veggies with the chicken (except the parsley & lemon zest) & cook for a couple of minutes until the chicken & mushroom are cooked through. Add the parsley + lemon zest & season with salt & pepper.
  • Prepare the bechamel: Whisk the flour into the cold milk until there are no lumps. Place the mixture in a pot over medium heat; whisking frequently until the mixture boils & thickens. Turn off heat, add the rest of the ingredients & whisk to blend. Season with salt & pepper.
  • Assemble: Mix the cooked pasta with the bechamel sauce. Pour half the mixture in a Pyrex, arrange the chicken/veggie on top & cover with the rest of the pasta/bechamel mixture. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until the sauce bubbles & the cheese melts. Serve immediately.

Notes:

  • Cook the pasta until it is a little less than al dente as it will cook more in the oven.
  • Season the bechamel at the end because the soy & parmesan are already salty.
  • You can add any veggies you prefer to the chicken.

4 thoughts on “MODERN NEGRESCO WITH VEGGIES

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