This has been a comfort food dish for me for years. Mark (my pre-keith) used to make it for me the night before I had to fly back to the cruise ship. So I took the recipe and made it my own. This is its current incarnation, and I still love it! And this is another example of how I wasn’t thinking forward with food – this weekend we already had 2 frittatas back to back, and then I cooked Chicken Parmesan with pasta only to have keith make his famous Skyline Chili with pasta the next night. Good thing I’m swimming laps during the weekdays!!
1 Italian pepper, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 Tbl. fresh basil, chopped
1 Tbl. fresh thyme
Red pepper flakes
1 28-ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes with the juice
Grated parmigiana reggiano cheese
Bread crumbs (panko is great)
2 eggs, beaten with a little water
2 chicken breasts
Fresh mozzarella (I used 4 small balls sliced in half)
1 lb. angel hair pasta
1 small can tomato sauce
2 Tbl. tomato paste
Start a big pot of water boiling for the pasta. In a large pan, heat up some olive oil over medium high heat. Add the Italian pepper, onions and garlic and a pinch of salt. Let them cook for 5-7 minutes until they start to become tender. Add the tomatoes, crushing them with your hand as you put them into the pan. Pour in the juice, the other can of tomato juice, more salt, the basil, thyme and some red pepper flakes (up to you for heat). Bring this to a boil, then lower the heat and add the tomoato paste. Let this slowly bubble and cook down for about 20 minutes. Stir often to prevent any sticking to the bottom of the pan – the sauce should thicken up nicely.
While this is cooking, heat up some olive oil in another pan. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Dredge the chicken breasts in flour, then in the eggs, then in a mixture of grated parmigiana cheese (1/2 cup) and bread crumbs (1/2 cup). Place in the hot pan, and cook for 4-6 minutes on each side until golden brown. Place browned chicken breasts in the oven – cook for 15 – 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. After about 8-10 minutes, place the mozzarella on top of the chicken to allow it to melt.
Pile cooked pasta on your plate and top generously with sauce. Place finished chicken breast on top, and sprinkle with parmigiana cheese and more red pepper flakes (optional).