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Caprese Chicken Pasta
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 lb. rigatoni
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/3 c. panko breadcrumbs
  • 2/3 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 2 pt. grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 8 oz. bocconcini (mini mozzarella balls), halved
  • 1/2 c. fresh basil, torn
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions for al dente. Reserve 2 cups of the cooking water, then drain the pasta. 2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in the panko and cook, stirring, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape into a bowl to cool, then stir in 1/3 cup parmesan and set aside. 3. Wipe out the skillet. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook, turning, until browned on all sides, about 3 minutes; remove to a plate. 4. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes and cook until blistered, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic just begins to turn golden, about 30 seconds. Add 1½ cups of the reserved cooking water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half and the tomatoes begin to burst, about 3 minutes. 5. Return the chicken to the skillet and cook through, about 2 more minutes. 6. Add the pasta to the skillet and toss to coat, adding some of the remaining pasta water if needed. Remove from the heat; sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 cup parmesan. Add the mozzarella and basil, season with salt and pepper and toss well. Sprinkle with the panko mixture just before serving.
Provided by:
Ree Drummond

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