Cherry Tomato Chicken Pasta with Basil or I’m Gonna Fit in the Slinky Black Dress in Three Weeks

Here with rotini  (new photos added November, 2012)

As cooks, we sometimes wake up with something special on our minds.
Something that just keeps going round and round and, until we make that dish, we just can’t do anything.
No one should get in our way then.  No how.
Then we go to the grocery store.
Are way-laid by a point of entrance display of, say, raspberries.  Or avocados.  Or, in this case,
I had every intention of making a Splendid Table newsletter dish called something like “Sicilian Chicken.”
Until I saw cherry tomatoes

10 PINTS FOR $10

And my world went spinning until I could figure out and make  (a large detour from Sicilian Chicken)

Here, the original photo with linguine

Cherry Tomato Chicken Pasta with Basil
serves 4

3 pints cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a little extra for chicken
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, ditto
5 cloves garlic
1 small red onion, sliced
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped
1teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped very finely
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

3/4  pound  (12 ounces) whole wheat linguine

10-12 fresh basil leaves

4 tablespoons gruyere cheese, grated, optional

Bring to a boil a 10qt pot of salted and peppered water for linguine.  Add a few leaves of fresh basil.  Lower heat a little and leave water ready for pasta as you make the sauce:

In a deep, 12 or 14″ saute pan,  heat 2T olive oil over medium heat and add tomatoes, salt and pepper.  Cook 10 minutes until tomatoes begin to pop, stirring often.  Add garlic, onion, mushrooms, dried red pepper, wine, olives and rosemary.   Continue to cook for another 10 minutes as tomatoes begin to fall apart.  Heat another saute or grill pan and add 2t olive oil.  Salt and pepper chicken breasts and grill very briefly, about 1 minute on each side.  Lower heat under tomato sauce and add the chicken to the  sauce.  Cover and cook at a low simmer for about 12 minutes.   Bring pasta water back to a rolling boil and add linguine.   Let covered chicken in sauce sit 10  minutes.   Test pasta for doneness and pour out into colander.   Divide the pasta into four pasta bowls and top each with a piece of chicken and a good serving of the tomato sauce. Garnish with torn fresh basil leaves and a dusting of fresh ground pepper.  Sprinkle with cheese, if desired.

{Printable Recipe}

Wine:  We liked a not-so-rough chianti with this dish.  Don’t buy the bottom of the barrel, literally.  Go up one notch to a chianti classico for a tish more smoothness in your mouth and in your stomach.

Dessert:  Now you know I’m watching every bite (except at birthdays and wine dinners like Saturday), so I’m just having a bite of whatever Dave’s having.  He eats dessert and he’s thinner.  Hmm.  I consider this a justice issue.    I made a parfait for him out of layers of strawberries, blackberries, whipped cream and chocolate sauce.  In between each layer, I put a tablespoon or so of crushed shortbread cookies.  A long, skinny iced tea spoon and he was in business.

Two-Dog Kitchen and Neighborhood News

If you want to eat things grown with 50 miles of here, this is what you can eat….

So, ‘Hood news in no apparent order:
Snowed every other day, at least.  Doves out this morning taking a walk right down the middle of the street at 5:30am.   Crab apple trees, bright pink, prettiest sight in town.  Book  Club is Wednesday night.  The neighbor with the best lawn already had to mow.  (Not us.)  Wed. we had 70mph winds and so much pollen that the entire sky was coated in waves of what looked to be smoke.  Praise God, there were no fires.

Sing a new song; change your mind at the store,


Judy Mays
Lover of politics and fried chicken.
(Always a great combination)

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