Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"Penn-e" Pasta for Finals Crunch Time

During finals period, most of my cooking falls by the wayside as I turn instead to cereal, cheese, crackers and take-out. I tell myself that grocery shopping and cooking take too long, and sometimes this is true. However, if you find yourself with a lull in your tests or need a reason to procrastinate studying, this recipe is a great one. It yields a delicious meal with a mouthwatering sauce that even tomato sauce novices can successfully produce. It is tasty and filling and will provide plenty of leftovers to carry you for at least a day. (See? You're saving time already!) There is also the added benefit of cooking providing a productive form of relaxation- you get a nice break for your brain and create something that is edible in the process. Without further ado (I too have studying that I should probably be doing), I present said recipe:


1/2 Cup olive oil, divided
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (can be more or less, depending on desired spiciness)
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with garlic
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
1 (12 ounce) package dried Penne pasta
2 eggs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 pound thin chicken breast cutlets


1. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for a few minutes. Next add red pepper flakes, and saute for one more minute. Pour in diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, and add basil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add Penne pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain.
3. In a small bowl, whisk eggs. Place breadcrumbs in a separate bowl and mix in garlic powder, salt and pepper. Dip chicken cutlets first into the egg, then press in the breadcrumbs until completely coated in both sides.
4. Heat remaining 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry chicken for about 5 minutes per side, or until the coating has turned a nice golden-brown to dark brown color.
5. Remove chicken and slice. Toss chicken slices with sauce, and let simmer for 10 more minutes. Serve sauce over Penne pasta and enjoy!

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