It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.
This dish is fast, easy, and celebrates two of the season’s most flavorful products, fresh tomatoes and basil. Although I have yet to be able to successfully grow my own tomatoes, they are readily available a markets throughout the area. And because I always have a container of fresh basil growing nearby, this is one of my favorite, go-to dinners. The components cook in a matter of minutes and taste great both hot and at room temperature so you can either cook it now and enjoy it immediately or let it sit a bit until you are ready to eat.
CAPRESE CHICKEN PASTA
1 pound dried shells, penne, or other small pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
Salt and pepper
3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, diced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
- Cook the pasta according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the chicken and the garlic cloves and stirring occasionally, cook until the chicken is lightly browned on the outside and no longer pink on the inside.
- Turn off the heat and add the tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and thyme to the pan. Toss well to combine.
- Serve the chicken mixture over the reserved pasta.
- Drizzle each dish with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil before serving.