A healthy, quick and easy family meal, this hearty bake combines ready-cooked chicken and whole wheat pasta in a cheesy sauce. Including little broccoli florets is a great way to encourage children to enjoy this super-nourishing vegetable as part of their daily diet.
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water for 10-12 minutes or according to the package instructions, until tender. Trim the broccoli into small florets and slice the stalks. Add all the broccoli and the leeks to the pasta for the last 5 minutes or so of cooking.
When just tender, drain well, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking water. Tip the pasta and vegetables into a large ovenproof dish. Skin the chicken and cut into small chunks and add to the dish.
Blend a little of the milk with the cornstarch to a paste in a cup. Heat the remaining milk and reserved cooking water in the same pot until on the point of boiling. Pour about a cupful onto the cornstarch paste and stir well, then pour this into the simmering milky water and stir briskly with a wooden spoon until it thickens. Remove the pot from the heat and mix in the mature cheese. Season to taste.
Pour the sauce over the pasta, stirring gently with a fork. Nestle the tomato halves into the mixture, then sprinkle with the Parmesan, oregano and breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 minutes until bubbling and crispy on top. Serve hot.
Variations: Cubes of cooked ham could be used instead of the chicken and any other of your family's favourite vegetables substituted for the broccoli. For a vegetarian meal, replace the chicken with 2 x 398 ml cans of mixed legumes, drained and rinsed.
Per serving: 595 calories, 18.5 g fat (8 g saturated), 47 g protein, 57 g carbohydrate, 13.5 g fibre