Buffalo Chicken Penne Bake

PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOK TIME: 45 minutes

10 ounce whole-wheat penne rigate
3 tablespoon good-quality olive oil
2 large carrots, sliced
3 medium stalk celery, sliced
1 large Peri & Sons yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups low-fat milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon hot sauce (more or less to taste)
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 4 ounces)

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Cook penne in a large pot of boiling water until slightly tender, about 3 minutes less than package directions. Drain, rinse and set aside.

Place flour in a large bowl and add chicken cubes, tossing to fully coat pieces on all sides.

n a large pot heat oil over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add flour-coated chicken and cook until no longer pink on the outside, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add milk to the pot along with salt. Bring to a soft boil over medium-high heat, stirring often, until bubbling and sauce thickens, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in hot sauce.

Spread the noodles in a 9-by-13-inch (or similar 3-quart) baking dish. Top with the chicken mixture and stir gently. Sprinkle blue cheese across the top.

Bake the casserole until it is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.