Friday, October 14, 2011

End of Summer Tomatoes ~ Easy Chicken Pasta

This dish is a prime spot for the fresh aroma from vine-ripened tomatoes shine.  So pick your last few and plop them in this yummy, garlicy, chicken pasta dinner!

1 lb brown rice spaghetti or angel hair pasta
5-7 cloves garlic, chopped coarsley
6 TBS olive oil
2 cups shredded chicken
dash of salt
3 large tomatoes, diced
       or 1 pint grape tomatoes
Fresh Mozzerella, 1/2 - 2/3 cup torn into little pieces
2-3 TBS Balsamic vinegar
4 TBS Fresh Basil, chopped or torn into small pieces

While pasta is boiling, coarsly chop the garlic.  Drizzle a large pan with the olive oil on med-high heat.  Place garlic in hot oil, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes (you do NOT want your garlic to get brown, it burns fast and becomes very bitter...yuck!).

Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the garlic oil.  Toss to coat the chicken with the garlic oil and let it sizzle for a minute.  The chicken will gain a few crispy edges and soak up that amazing flavor.  Add that dash of salt now, but just a dash because the mozzerella is salty too (salt draws the moisture out of tomatoes so we want to add it  now and let the chicken absorb the salt so the tomatoes don't become too juicy when they are added next).

When the chicken has your desired amount of "crispiness", gently fold in the tomatoes with the chicken and then quickly add the drained and rinsed the pasta (the idea is not to cook the tomatoes, just warm them up a bit while allowing them to keep their firm, fresh texture and flavor).  Toss pasta in with chicken-tomato mixture.  Add the bits of mozzerella and balsamic; toss one more time.

Plate it up and top with a heavy sprinkle of fresh basil.  We serve ours with something green, like string beans  Even the little one peaking over the counter to spot her plate asks for seconds and thirds of this quick and easy pasta.

Hope you enjoy!!!

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