I absolutely LOVE Italian food, it is probably my favorite cuisine. Don’t be put off by this recipe, it’s actually pretty quick to make (I think). If you can, I absolutely recommend using REAL bufalo mozzarella. I’ve been lucky enough to find it, once in a while, at Costco (I posted a picture to my Instagram – opie.seattle). There is NO comparison between this and US mozzarella. Seriously! If you are in a pinch you can use jarred marinara sauce, I do all the time. But I highly recommend 1) find one that does not have sugar (harder than you think) and 2) modify it! I add garlic, a little more italian spice and definitely crushed red chili flakes. Enjoy!
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1 cup Italian style bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (try to use the real thing)
- Mozzarella (how much depends on you)
- 1 cup (or so) penne pasta
- Salt and pepper
Make the pasta sauce, recipe below, first.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees (good time to heat up some good bread while you’re at it).
In an oven proof wide pan, I like my Le Creuset Round Braiser, heat the olive oil on medium-high. Whisk the egg in a shallow pan or bowl. Put the flour in another shallow pan or bowl. Put the bread crumbs and parmesan in yet another shallow pan or bowl.
Take the chicken breasts, put them in a zip lock so they can’t get away, and pound the out so they are thin and even. Lightly salt and pepper them. Dip them 1st in the flour, then the egg and finally the bread crumbs. Cook about 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
Remove from the pan, add the marinara, and put them on top of it. Put the mozzarella on top of the breasts and cook in the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the cheese starts to melt and ooze over the breasts.
Meanwhile heat a large pot of water over high heat with a couple of tablespoons of salt. Cook the penne until done, firm to the bite and not mushy.
When the chicken is done, plate it and then combine the sauce with the pasta and serve as well.
Easy Marinara Sauce
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced (the amount depends on how much garlic you like)
- 28 oz can whole pealed tomatoes, crushed (or you can use tomato sauce if you don’t like your marinara “chunky”)
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp crushed red chili flakes (less it you don’t like heat)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a heavy bottom pot, I like my Le Creuset Round French Oven, heat the oil to medium and saute the garlic until fragrant (don’t burn it!). Dump the can of whole tomatoes into a bowl and crush them with your hands (or not if you’re using tomato sauce). Dump them into the pot with the garlic, add the spices and bring to a simmer. The longer you simmer the better the flavor but this can be done in as little as 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.