That’s Amore!

My love for Italian food started when I was a little girl. My grandfather, who was of French origin, made the best spaghetti sauce and meatball meals I ever had. It took him all day to cook his sauce and the smell radiated through the house. My grandmother, who is partially Sicilian, will tell you, to this day that he really knew what he was doing. Every time I open  can of tomato sauce, it takes me back to the smell of the house when sauce would be on the stove. This recipe is not of our family sauce but of my own take on a quick marinara for quick meals such and baked rigatoni or what I chose to make, chicken parmesan. You can used your favorite store bought sauce, I truly recommend giving this marinara recipe it a try. It’s that easy and way worth it!

Chicken Parmesan

Serves 2

Marinara

  • 1/2 White onion (chopped)
  • 1 tsp Butter
  • 1 Clove garlic (grated)
  • 1 large can Tomato sauce
  • 1 medium can Diced tomatoes (drained)
  • 1/2 can Tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Onion powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Dried parsley
  • 1/2 tip Dried basil
  • 1 tbsp Grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Pinch of baking soda (optional)

Breaded Chicken

  • 2 Chicken breasts (sliced thin)
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable oil
  • Station 1: Flour mixture- 1/2 AP flour, 1 tsp Corn starch, S&P (mixed)
  • Stations 2: Egg wash- 1 egg, 1/4 cup milk (mixed)
  • Station 3: Breading mixture- 1/2 cup Plain bread crumbs, 1/4 tsp Salt, 1/4 tsp Pepper, 1/4 tsp Onion powder, 1/4 tsp Garlic powder, 1/2 tsp Dried parsley, 1 tbsp Grated parmesan cheese, pinch of Cinnamon
  • 1 large pot water (pasta)
  • 1 lb Whole grain Spaghetti pasta
  • 2 tbsp Fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 2 cup Mozzarella cheese (grated)

 

For the marinara, first place a deep pot on medium to high heat. Add the butter and onion. Let the onion cook down for about 3-4 minutes before adding the garlic. This will cook the raw taste out of both. Next add all your ingredients for the marinara and turn the heat to medium heat. Stir ever 5-10 minutes until boiling. Once it has begun to boil, turn to a low heat. Cover and stir occasionally for 1 hour. **  Red pepper flakes are added for heat and are not necessary. Baking soda can be added if the sauce is too acidic for your taste buds. Do not put too much in or the sauce can go bad. **

 

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For the breaded chicken, combine each station ingredients. Place station 1 in a bowl, station 2 & 3 in a flat lying plate. These are called dredging stations. You pull the chicken through them to coat, and place in the oil to cook. Place each piece of chicken and coat well from station 1 to 3.  Heat a deep, non stick pan with the vegetable oil on a medium to high heat. After pan is hot, place coated chicken in the pan and cook for about 4 minutes on each side. Once each piece is cooked, place in a baking pan and place in the oven. Put the oven temperature to 375° and cook for another 15 minutes. This will make sure the chicken is fully cooked and will evaporate any excess oil.

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While the chicken is baking and the sauce is just about done, boil the pot of water and cook pasta for 10-12 minute. Drain and place on an oven safe place. Coat the pasta with the sauce, as much or as little as you would like and place chicken on top. Coat the chicken with sauce and liberally spread the mozzarella cheese on top to bake. Turn the oven up to 400°.  Bake the chicken parmesan for 5-8 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted. Please be very careful since the plate with be hot. Garnish with parsley and serve. Enjoy!

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