Caprese Chicken with Penne Pasta and Arugula

Quite often I don’t have a plan for what we’re going to have for dinner, and sometimes that worries husband. He’ll look in the refrigerator and wonder if in fact we will have dinner. 

There was one night when I really didn’t want to go to the grocery store. So I thought I’d take a chance on what we already had at the house.

I knew I had some chicken breasts and then found some fresh mozzarella, arugula, cherry tomatoes and penne pasta. And this is what I came up with. It’s fairly easy and quite tasty.

For those of you who are gluten intolerant (like me), there are some wonderful gluten-free penne pastas at most grocery stores these days. I prefer the ones that are primarily made with corn.


Ingredients: Serves 2-4

4 boneless and skinless chicken breast fillets
1/4 pound of mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons of olive oil, plus two teaspoons
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
½ teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon
1 tablespoon (3 cloves) of minced garlic
 

1/2 teaspoon of dried basil or 1½ teaspoons of fresh basil
11 ounces of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
Penne Pasta
2 cups of arugula


Directions

Stir together the garlic, tomato paste, olive oil, basil, salt and pepper in a small dish. 

Place the chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap or wax paper. Using a meat mallet, pound the meat evenly over the entire surface going back and forth until the chicken measures ¼-inch thick.

Spread each chicken breast with the garlic/tomato mixture and then cut the cheese into eight pieces, then layer two slices inside each breast. Roll the chicken up and secure with two toothpicks.

Coat a large non-stick skillet with two teaspoons of olive oil. Heat over medium-high and add the chicken and sear on each side for about 2 minutes. 

Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the cherry tomatoes and cover. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes then drizzle with balsamic vinegar. 

While the chicken is cooking prepare the pasta according to the package directions. Once cooked, drain and toss with arugula. With the pasta in a serving bowl, place the chicken on top and cover with the cherry tomatoes.