This may be one of my favorite things that I have cooked in a very long time. It is sooo easy, but the flavors are amazing and so fresh. Yes, you have to turn on your oven–I know it is summertime, but believe me, it is worth it.
You can cook this for one or for as many people as you would like. It would be a really easy, inexpensive and fast thing to cook for a dinner party. Tonight, however, I was just cooking for myself. I used two organic, free range, chicken breasts to start with. Spray a little bit of olive oil (spray–or use a paper towel to lightly coat the bottom of the glass cooking dish). You don’t need a lot.
Then, brush the chicken with olive oil on the top.
Add a little sea salt and cracked black pepper, and that is all of the seasoning you need!
Then, slice one or two (depending on the size) Roma tomatoes into slices and layer the top of the chicken with them.
After the tomatoes, choose 4 – 6 whole fresh organic basil leaves and place them on top of the tomatoes.
Set your oven to about 400 degrees and then cook the chicken for about 25 – 30 minutes, or until it reaches 170 degrees inside. I simply sliced the side of one of the chicken breasts to make sure that there wasn’t any pink to make sure they were done. After the chicken had been in for about 20 minutes, I put the capellini over boiling water. It is a good rule of thumb that for each person you need about a nickle size of pasta. I let this boil for the last 10 minutes or so that the chicken was cooking.
When the chicken is nearly done, take it out and add the fresh mozzarella (did I mention that I have been craving tomatoes and mozzarella all summer??). After adding it to the top of the chicken, cook it for about another 3 – 5 minutes while your pasta is cooking.
I didn’t want to use a sauce for the pasta, but I knew it would need some flavor. This artichoke petso is one of my favorite items to buy from the organic section. It is great on crackers or bread…and also awesome to toss in pasta. It runs about $7, and doesn’t last long, but it is one of the best things that you will ever eat. I can’t get enough of it. The good news is, that when you use it on pasta, you don’t need a lot of it.
I also added about 2 tablespoons of sour cream into the pasta and then tossed that with the artichoke pesto. It made for a perfect and very light pasta sauce. And, when the chicken comes out of the oven, it looks and smells wonderful!
Add the chicken to the pasta…and that is about it. I had some pepperoncinis, and I have been craving them since a friend mentioned them a few weeks ago. I thought that the flavors would compliment each other well, so I added a few to the mix. They were the most amazing bit of flavor and spice and a perfect addition to this dish. I nibbled on them as I was eating the chicken and pasta, and it was pretty much an explosion of perfect flavor fireworks. I am pretty sure, even alone, I was “yumming” out loud.
This is a MUST try!
Other things to try? I think cooking the chicken with stewed tomatoes would make for a good sauce for the pasta. You wouldn’t need to add anything to the capellini if that was the case. Also, a cream sauce would have been rich, but amazing with the chicken and mozzarella. Try a few different things and give it your own spin…but TRY this one at home soon!