Chicken Poppyseed Rotini

Today, I started cooking up pasta for lunch around 11:30, thinking that we would have baked Macaroni and Cheese--always a sure-fire winner, and not too labour-intensive (a great combo for lunch on a homeschooling day).

However, as soon as I got the pasta in the water, I realized that we didn't have any milk or cream. Or tomato sauce. What can you do with pasta--other than toss it in butter or olive oil with salt and pepper (not so protein-filled) without the two basic sauce bases?

My handy-dandy little "Greatest Ever Pasta" book to the rescue. I used a recipe I had tried years ago and liked as inspiration for an impromptu pasta casserole. Saved by the butter again! (And leftover chicken.)

Chicken Poppyseed Rotini

Feeds 5-8 people

1 lb. brown rice rotini or other pasta shape
1 c. frozen peas
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. dijon mustard
Juice of 1 lemon (about 3-4 tbsp.)
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
2 tbsp. poppy seeds
1 cooked chicken breast (or more, if desired--I only had one), diced
1/2 tsp. sea salt
Pepper, to taste

Cook pasta as directed on the package. When it has about 5 minutes left, add peas to pasta water. Drain and rinse as usual when finished.

While pasta is cooking, melt butter and mustard together in a small saucepan. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer for several minutes.

When pasta is finished and drained, combine all together in a serving bowl. Bon appetit!

I confess--I thought it was totally delish, but my kids only ate it because they were hungry and that was all there was. Jude was turned off by the mustard and the texture of the poppyseeds. I think Noah just thought it looked weird.

That's okay--all the more for me! Wheeeee!