Italian Chicken with Oregano Infused Pasta
This mouthwatering meal is one you’ll want to make over & over again, especially on busy days. It’s very easy to put together & cleanup is so easy!
1 1/4 tsp dried oregano (divided)
Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 organic, boneless, skinless chicken breasts about 1/2 lb each
4 tsp basil pesto (see Tip# 1)
4 – 1/4″ to 1/3″ thick slices from an organic tomato
4 oz mozzarella cheese, either cut 4 thick slices from a whole ball or use shredded
1 1/2 to 2 cups tri-colored rotini pasta (or use whatever pasta you like)
1 1/2 to 2 Tblsp butter
1/8 tsp granulated garlic powder
Kosher or sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1. Fill a 5.5 quart pot, 2/3 full, with water. Add 1 tsp oregano & 1 Tblsp salt, cover & set aside while preparing the chicken.
2. Preheat oven to 400°.
3. Grease the bottom of two 8″ x 6″ glass baking dishes, each with 1 tsp EVOO.
4. Place a chicken breast in each, sprinkle with salt & pepper. On each; spread on 2 tsp pesto, top with 2 tomato slices, add a little salt & pepper, then evenly distribute 1/2 the mozzarella on top.
5. Bake on middle oven rack for 30 to 35 minutes or till chicken is cooked through to 160° & cheese is browning a bit. Remove from oven & set aside while you cook the pasta (see Tip# 3).
6. Bring the oregano water to a boil, add pasta & cook according to package directions till al dente.
7. Drain pasta & return to pot. Add butter & allow to melt. Add 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/8 tsp garlic & pepper to taste, stir to coat.
8. Slide chicken breasts to one side of each baking dish. Add pasta & serve right in baking dishes.
Tips & Suggestions
1. You’ll find commercially prepared pesto in most supermarkets. I suggest buying a good quality made with EVOO or making your own from scratch, which has a far superior taste to store bought & it freezes beautifully, so you’ll always have some on hand for recipes.
2. You can prepare the chicken, with toppings, in advance. Cover & refrigerate till ready to bake.
3. The chicken will continue to cook as it rests, while you make the pasta, reaching the safe temperature of 165°.