Chicken Mac and Cheese

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1  pound skinless, boneless, chicken breast halves
1  to 2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
   Salt and ground black pepper
1  tablespoon olive oil
8  ounces dried mostaccioli, ziti, or penne pasta
1  medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
2  cloves garlic, minced
3  tablespoons butter
3  tablespoons all-purpose flour
2  tablespoons tomato paste
3  cups milk
8  ounces smoked cheddar, Gruyere, or Swiss cheese, shredded (2 cups)
   Salt and ground black pepper
2  cups soft sourdough or French bread crumbs
2  ounces finely shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese (1/2 cup)
3  tablespoons butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. In a large skillet cook chicken, Italian or desired seasoning blend, salt, and pepper in hot oil over medium heat until chicken is no longer pink.* Remove chicken from skillet; set aside. 

2. In a large pot or kettle cook pasta according to package directions until just tender. Drain; return pasta to pot.
3. Meanwhile, in the same skillet in which chicken was cooked, cook onion and garlic in 3 tablespoons hot butter over medium heat until tender. Stir in flour until well combined. Stir in tomato paste. Add milk. Cook and stir until mixture is thickened and bubbly; reduce heat. Add the shredded cheese. Stir until cheese is almost melted. Remove from heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add sauce and chicken to cooked pasta in pot; stir to coat. Spoon mixture into a 2-quart square or rectangular baking dish.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl stir together bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and 3 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle crumb mixture over pasta mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until crumb mixture is golden and edges are bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.
Test Kitchen Tip: Use a blender or food processor to make soft breadcrumbs. About 1-1/2 ounces of break makes 1 cup of crumbs. 

Source:  Better Homes & Gardens
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