The theme for the 57th Gourmet Club meet was Martha Stewart Christmas. Our esteem club member Lee Lee brought baked penne based on Martha’s  recipe. Lee Lee advised that she adjusted Martha’s recipe quite a bit and added spicy sausage and fresh herbs. It was so good and I had to try it again at home. Here’s the modified recipe.
- 6 tablespoons butter, plus one Tbsp for buttering the baking dishes
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 pound penne rigate
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (8 ounces each), halved horizontally
- 2 spicy chicken Italian sausage, sliced
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp minced garlic
- 6 cups whole milk
- 8 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups shredded provolone (6 oz)
- 1 cup finely grated Parmesan (4 oz)
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- Chilli flakes (optional, add if you like it to be more spicy)
- Season chicken with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to use. I like to season chicken overnight, it is more flavorful when you cook it the next day.
- Brown the sliced sausage in a skillet, set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400. Butter two shallow 2-quart baking dishes.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 3 minutes short of al dente; drain pasta, and return to pot.
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Cook chicken until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Cut into bite size pieces.
- In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, melt butter over medium. Add flour and garlic; cook, whisking, 1 minute. While whisking, gradually add milk; bring to a simmer, whisking frequently. Add mushrooms and tomatoes; cook 1 minute. Off heat, gradually stir in provolone and 1/2 cup Parmesan.
- Add chicken and pasta to pot; season with salt and pepper. Divide pasta mixture between baking dishes; sprinkle each with 1/4 cup Parmesan.
- Bake, uncovered, until top is golden and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.