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I saw this on one of Emeril's shows on the Food Network, and it turned out great! Be sure to use smaller chicken breasts and the Romanita tomatoes are delicious!
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (5 to 6 ounces each)
- 4 teaspoons italian seasoning
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, plus more
- salt, for seasoning pasta
- 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 3⁄4 cup dried breadcrumbs
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1⁄2 lb smoked mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 1⁄4 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb linguine, cooked al dente and kept warm
- fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chiffonade fresh basil leaves
Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce
- 3 lbs romanita tomatoes, cored*
- 1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 12 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Position rack in upper third of oven and preheat over to 400 degrees.
- Season each chicken breast with 1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning and 1/8 teaspoon of salt.
- Place the flour into a small bowl. Place the egg and milk into a second small bowl. Place the bread crumbs into a third small bowl. Dip each chicken breast into the flour, then the beaten egg mixture, and finally into the bread crumbs, shaking to rid of excess between each step. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining breasts. When all of the breasts are breaded, heat half of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place the chicken, smooth side down, into the skillet and cook for 4 minutes. Turn the chicken breasts to the other side, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook for 2 minutes longer. Remove the skillet from the heat.
- Spoon 1/4 cup of the tomato sauce over each breast and divide the mozzarella slices evenly among the chicken pieces. Sprinkle with the Parmigiano-Reggiano, and transfer the skillet to the oven. Cook until the chicken is just cooked through and the cheese melts, about 8 minutes. Adjust the oven setting to broil and continue to cook until the cheese bubbles and is lightly golden, about 1 to 2 minutes longer.
- While the chicken is baking, reheat the pasta sauce if necessary. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the pasta and toss until warmed through. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add enough of the pasta sauce to just coat the pasta and divide between 4 large serving plates.
- When the chicken is ready, top each plate of pasta with a little more sauce and top each serving with a chicken breast. Garnish with the fresh basil and serve immediately.
- Note: Regular smoked mozzarella works better in this recipe than fresh smoked mozzarella.
- Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce: In a large, 14-inch, oven proof frying pan, combine all the ingredients. Stir to blend then transfer to the oven and cook until the tomatoes begin to caramelize, about 30 minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven and stir well. Return to the oven and continue to cook until further caramelized and much of the liquid has evaporated, about 30 minutes longer. Remove from the oven, cool slightly, and transfer to a blender, in batches if necessary, and process sauce until coarsely pureed. If the sauce seems too thick, thin with a bit of water or chicken broth. Use immediately or cool completely and refrigerate for up to 4 days in a non-reactive, airtight container.
- The sauce is great on pasta as well as pizza and even makes a great dipping sauce for hors d'oeuvres. If you prefer a less rustic sauce, puree completely as described above and strain.
- Yield: about 4 cups sauce.
- * If Romanita tomatoes are unavailable, use a combination of Roma and grape tomatoes to approximate the sweetness of Romanitas, or use another type of sweet tomato, such as Amorosa.