Chicken Parm & Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce
One of the things I’ve found when cooking for two is that the pasta boxes (elbows, ziti, shells, penne, rotini, etc.) have more than enough for 8 servings (3/4 cup each serving), and I end up with some small portions of uncooked pasta. I just mix them up in a box and make it a multiple pasta day… on the wild side! I found this Chicken Parm recipe on the Food Network site (courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis) and decided to give it my own twist.
Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce
Adapted from The Food Network
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon rosemary leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon thyme leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon parsley leaves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon red peppercorn, ground
salt and pepper to taste
2 halves chicken breast
1 1/2 cups Tomato Sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded or torn
About 16 teaspoons parmesan cheese, grated
2 teaspoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Ingredients for the Tomato Sauce:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
sea salt to taste
pepper to taste, ground
1 can diced tomatoes, 32 ounces
2 basil leaves
1 bay leaves
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 500ºF.
- Stir the oil and herbs in a small bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Brush both sides of the cutlets with the herb oil. Set aside.
- In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper.
- Add the diced tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and simmer covered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors. Puree the diced tomatoes with a potato smasher, or a wooden one.
- Heat a heavy large oven-proof skillet over high heat. Add the cutlets and cook just until brown, about 2 minutes per side.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and spoon the marinara sauce over and around the cutlets. Bake for about 15 minutes, and turn them over.
- Start preparing the pasta according to the box directions.
- Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over each cutlet, then sprinkle the Parmesan over each. Sprinkle the butter pieces atop the cutlets. Bake until the cheese melts and the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Drain the pasta, and serve it on a plate, placing the chicken and sauce on top of the cooked pasta and sprinkling it with parmesan cheese.
If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6 months.
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