baked chicken margherita with arugula pasta

baked chicken margherita with arugula pasta

We love chicken Parmesan just as much as the rest of the universe, it seems, but the breading stage can be time-consuming and occasionally more mess than we’d prefer. This recipe features the classic flavors of tomato, mozzarella and basil, but is all baked in one pan – the only pan required! Arugula is mixed with adorable radiatori pasta for a meal that is fun to look at, and even more fun to eat. Cook, relax, and enjoy!

What you’ll need:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 large garlic cloves
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (14-oz) can baby roma tomatoes
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
0.75 oz basil
8 oz fresh mozzarella
1 oz Parmesan cheese
2 oz baby arugula
8 oz radiatori pasta (garofolo)
coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil

Equipment:
large pot
large skillet
microplane or grater

Recipe steps:
1. Brown chicken
Preheat oven to 425°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Season chicken well all over with salt and pepper. Add to skillet and brown well on each side, about 10 minutes total. Remove chicken from skillet.

2. Make sauce
Peel and thinly slice garlic. Reheat skillet over medium high with 1 tablespoon oil. Add garlic and red pepper flake, and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, ¼ cup water, 1 teaspoon vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ⅔ of the basil sprigs. Bring to a simmer, breaking up tomatoes with a spoon. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce is slightly reduced, about 7 minutes.

3. Cook chicken
Grate Parmesan. Stir ⅓ Parmesan into the skillet, add chicken to sauce, and transfer to the oven. Cook until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

4. Add cheese
Meanwhile, slice mozzarella in half then thinly slice into half moons. Turn chicken over in the sauce to coat. Scatter mozzarella over chicken and sauce. Switch oven to broil with rack 6 inches from heat source. Broil until mozzarella is melted, about 3 minutes.

5. Make pasta
Meanwhile, add pasta to boiling water; cook until al dente, 7-8 minutes; drain.

6. Finish
Toss pasta with arugula, 3 tablespoons oil, remaining vinegar and Parmesan, and season well with salt and pepper. Remove remaining basil leaves from stems. Tear over the top of the chicken skillet and serve with pasta. Enjoy!

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