This recipe was kind of an accident, actually. I had found one online somewhere that had something to do with breadcrumb-stuffed oven-roasted tomatoes served over pasta with basil, pancetta, and olive oil… and when I went to start dinner, I realized that a) I was out of breadcrumbs (GAH!) and b) two of the large tomatoes I was going to bake in the oven were moldy. BOOHISS.
So! PLAN B: Improvise!
It turned out to be one of the best pasta dishes I’ve ever made. Who knew??! I substituted a few cans of diced tomatoes instead of the oven roasted ones, and then added some grilled diced chicken. So delicious.
Tomato Basil Pasta with Chicken & Pancetta
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 box angel hair or spaghetti
3 ounces diced pancetta (or bacon if you can’t find pancetta)
2-3 cans diced tomatoes (depending on how tomato-y you like it!)
2 cloves garlic, minced
handful of basil leaves, chopped
Brush chicken breasts with balsamic vinegar. Broil (15-25 minutes) or grill until cooked through. Slice into chunks and set aside (wrap in foil to keep warm if needed). Cook noodles according to package directions.
Fry the pancetta in a skillet until browned and crisp. Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon, leaving the rendered fat in the pan. Add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and saute the garlic for a minute or two (careful it doesn’t burn!) Add the diced tomatoes and let it simmer a bit. Add the pancetta, then pour the mixture over the drained pasta and combine. Top with the diced chicken, then finish with grated parmesan cheese and ground black pepper, if desired.