Something about this meal stuck with me…maybe it was the good company, or maybe it was just how good and fresh it tasted. I specifically remember our friend squeezing the canned whole tomatoes with his hands to make the sauce…you would think this would not be new to me…but apparently it’s taken me 8 years to actually make sauce this way on my own. Something about using whole tomatoes in your homemade tomato sauce…once those tomatoes get broken up, the smell of freshness is so overwhelmingly delicious. You’ve got to try it yourself.
We enjoyed this meal with some Summer Vegetable Gratin and of course some good Chianti…
Recipe from Aggie’s Kitchen
3-4 chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
2 large cans whole peeled tomatoes
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
bunch fresh basil leaves
shredded mozzarella cheese
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 pound whole wheat pasta
Cook pasta according to directions on box.
Season both sides chicken with olive oil, salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Place over hot grill over medium heat. Cook for approximately 4-6 minutes on each side, depending on thickness. You can tell chicken is cooked through when juices run clear when pricked with fork or knife. Or cut through thick portion of chicken to check. After you take chicken off grill, cover with aluminum foil and let rest, chicken will continue to cook on its own for a few more minutes.
Pour canned whole tomatoes and their juices into a large bowl. Using your hands, gently squeeze tomatoes until crushed. Continue to crush until it reaches a thin, but still chunky, consistency.
In medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add minced garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes till fragrant. Carefully add crushed tomatoes to garlic and olive oil. Bring sauce to a boil, then lower to simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 20-25 minutes. Add torn pieces of fresh basil to sauce and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Serve grilled chicken and whole wheat pasta with chunky tomato sauce, sprinkled with shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
Last week I was contacted by a representative from Carrabba’s to tell me about special event they are hosting this next week at their restaurant. It benefits the Muscular Dystrophy Association and sounds like a nice night out for a good cause. While you’re there…stay for dinner and order my favorite things on the menu…Calamari Ricardo and Chicken Bryan with a side of pasta with garlic and oil….mmmm.
Carrabba’s Italian Grill “Mix it up for MDA” Event
What: “Mix it Up for MDA” Event, a fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association
When: Thursday, July 30thfrom 5 p.m. to close
Cost: $15 a person
Admission includes a sampling of four food items from the new Mr. C’s Bar Menu and, for guests 21 years and older, one of three signature cocktails (Blackberry Lemonade, the Italian Lemon Drop or Blackberry Fields Martini) or another drink on the Mr. C’s list. In addition to monies raised from event admission, Carrabba’s also will donate $1 to MDA for each of the three signature drinks sold from July 30 – August 6.
Where: To find Carrabba’s locations near you, visit http://carrabbas.com/locator.aspx