Prep. time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: About 20 minutes
- 1/2 lb. angel hair pasta
- 2 chicken breasts (pound the chicken so it is a little less than an inch thick; I serve half a chicken breast per person)
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar (the thicker and darker, the better—we use Gia Russa brand balsamic glaze)
- Salt and pepper
- 7-8 oz. plain tomato sauce
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- Parmesan cheese, to taste
- Basil, to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente (about 9 minutes), then drain the water. In the meantime, brush both sides of the chicken breasts with 1 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar (use more if need be) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet and add the chicken, cooking until golden brown and no longer pink inside. In another skillet, heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil and add the garlic, tomatoes, and onion, cooking until they are slightly soft. Add the tomato sauce and add 1 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar to the tomato and onion mixture, stirring to combine. Toss the pasta with the tomato sauce mixture and serve alongside chicken, topping the pasta with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and fresh or dried basil. If you want to make it even more like the bruschetta appetizer that I envisioned when I first made it, toss cubes of fresh mozzarella cheese in with the pasta or top the chicken breasts with a slice of mozzarella and pop in the oven at 350* F until cheese is bubbling and slightly golden brown (about 5 to 10 minutes—be careful not to overcook the chicken).
This dish is so simple, but it has a complex flavor that makes it better than plain old spaghetti with marinara. The onion adds sweetness to the fresh tomatoes and tomato sauce and the balsamic vinegar adds a rich flavor. This meal is absolutely delicious and even better if you have freshly grated Parmesan to sprinkle on top—it really adds to the flavor of the sauce.