I refuse to believe that pasta is bad for you. It is filling, tastes great, it is so versatile, and... well, I like it... all of the time. Did I say versatile? I took a typically heavy recipe, Chicken Parmesan, and turned it into a light summer dinner. Instead of a traditional red sauce, I used whole tomatoes and broke them into large pieces for a fresh tomato taste, added plenty of fresh basil and pan seared the chicken breasts instead of breading and frying. Don't worry, I didn't leave out the fresh mozzarella - I'm not crazy.
The result was a fresh, light, protein and vegetable packed summer dinner. Highly recommended. As you can tell from the ingredient list below, it is definitely a budget friendly quick dinner perfect for a weeknight or Sunday evening. Maybe this will replace our Sunday Spaghetti & Meatballs for the Summer?
Fresh Summer Chicken Parmesan
1 pound of angel hair pasta
1 pound of chicken breasts, butterflied and cut into strips
Salt & Pepper
*Dried Italian Seasoning
2 - 14 oz. cans of whole tomatoes
Fresh Basil, chopped
Season butterflied and chicken breasts cut into strips with Salt & Pepper. **Not pictured, but you can also add dried Italian seasoning for extra flavor.
Sear the chicken in a medium hot pan in olive oil for 3-4 minutes on each side until cooked through. Cover and set aside.
For the sauce, use kitchen sheers to cut up whole tomatoes while they are still in the can. This can save you some splattering and messy hands trying to do it in the pan.
For the sauce, start with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced. Saute on medium heat for 30 seconds - 1 minute.
Immediately add in the tomatoes. Continue to break them up into pieces with the wooden spoon.
Add salt & pepper and cook over medium low heat until bubbly for about 5-10 minutes. Add a handful of fresh basil.
Serve over angel hair pasta and chicken topped with large slices of fresh mozzarella. The heat from the sauce will melt the mozzarella cheese perfectly.