This is my version of chicken parmigiana. The sweet sauce is what sends this recipe over the top although the chicken parmigiana is excellent as well! I developed this sauce after tasting various versions of my Italian friends' sauces and getting their recipes. My family likes a sweet sauce so if you don't like it sweet, just omit the sugar. I do recommend that you add a little sugar, though, to remove some of the acidity taste from the sauce. Quite frankly, if you don't like a sweet sauce, though, you might be better off trying another recipe because that is why I developed this version. I usually let the sauce simmer for most of the day until I am ready to make the chicken parmigiana. However, the sauce can be ready as fast as an hour if you need it to be. But the longer the sauce simmers, the more delicious and thick it will be! This recipe does make more sauce than is needed for the chicken parmigiana and the side of spaghetti or angel hair, but I just freeze the remaining sauce and use it for another time. This is also the basic recipe I use to serve over any type of pasta. I even use it on pizza!
- 1 -2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 (18 ounce) cans tomato paste
- 108 ounces water (fill one of the empty tomato paste cans with water 6 times)
- 2 large bay leaves
- 1 -2 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped fine
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped fine
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1⁄4 cup granulated sugar (can use more or less depending on how sweet you like your sauce. I actually use at least 1/2 cup)
- 1⁄2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup pepperoni, sliced (optional)
- 5 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cutlets
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup fine dry Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
- 3 cups homemade pasta sauce
- 1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 8 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
- Pasta Sauce:.
- In dutch oven or large saucepot, heat olive oil over medium heat for about 1-2 minutes.
- Add chopped onion and garlic cloves; saute till softened, about 5 minutes (if using pepperoni slices, add here).
- Add tomato paste and 6 cans of water, which equals the 108 ounces of water (basically the rule is for every can of tomato paste, you add 3 cups of water).
- Bring to a boil and stir until all the tomato paste is dissolved; meanwhile add bay leaves, parsley, oregano, basil, black pepper, red pepper flakes (if using), garlic powder, sugar and parmesan cheese.
- Once the sauce has come to a boil, let simmer, uncovered, over medium to medium-low heat, for 3-4 hours or until thickened.
- Prepare chicken parmigiana:.
- Combine eggs, salt and pepper in bowl; place bread crumbs in another bowl.
- Dip chicken into egg mixture, then into bread crumbs.
- Heat oil until very hot and brown chicken on both sides.
- Remove chicken to shallow baking dish and pour excess oil from pan.
- Pour sauce over chicken and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
- Cover and bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.
- Uncover and place provolone slices on top of chicken and bake 10 minutes more or until cheese is bubbly.
- Serve with a side of angel hair pasta topped with the spaghetti sauce.