Here’s a pasta casserole for people who love crispy edges (aka everybody).
- Yield: 4 Servings
- Kosher salt
- 12 ounces short pasta, such as gemelli or penne
- 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 1 cup grated Parmesan (about 3 ounces), divided
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 1 bunch curly kale (about 8 ounces), ribs and stems removed, leaves torn into bite-size pieces
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup sour cream or crème fraîche
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 (2½-pound) rotisserie chicken, skin and bones removed, meat shredded (about 4 cups shredded chicken)
- 1½ cups shredded mozzarella (about 6 ounces), divided
How to Make It
- Set a rack in the top third of the oven and preheat it to 450°F.
- Bring a pot of very salty water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook the pasta until al dente.
- Meanwhile, mix the panko, ¼ cup of the Parm, 2 tablespoons of the oil, ¼ teaspoon of the black pepper, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Toss the kale and tomatoes with ½ teaspoon salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Reserve ½ cup of the pasta cooking liquid, then drain the pasta. Return the pasta to the pot along with the sour cream, mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ cup pasta cooking liquid, and the remaining ¾ cup Parm and ½ teaspoon pepper; stir until smooth. Stir in the chicken and 1 cup of the mozzarella, adding more pasta cooking liquid to keep everything mixable if needed, until well combined. Transfer it all to the baking sheet with the kale and tomatoes and toss to combine; spread it out in a more or less even layer. Top with the panko mixture and the remaining ½ cup mozzarella.
- Roast the pasta mixture until the cheese is melted and the top is lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes.