This is a very basic pasta dish that is great for weeknights. The flavors in it are classic - garlic, onion, tomato and basil. I adapted the recipe slightly to suit my tastes. I love basil, so I added three times as much basil to this :) I also love spicy food, so I added extra pepper (of course if you don't care for the additional heat, just omit the hot pepper sauce). While I did add some heavy cream to this to balance out some of the acidity from the tomatoes, it is still a very light meal.
You can use dried basil (4 teaspoons) if you don't have any fresh basil on hand, but it really won't taste as good. If you hate paying an arm and a leg for fresh basil at the grocery store, there are two lower cost alternatives. The first is to find your local Asian grocery store. If you live in a decently sized city, chances are you have some local Asian grocery stores around. There, you can get a huge bundle of basil (30+ leaves) for $1 versus the $2-3 you pay at your neighborhood grocery store for 8-10 leaves of basil. The other way to get cheap basil is to plant your own. I bought a tiny little starter basil plant a few months ago (for $3), and it has grown so much now that I have enough basil to cook something with it once a week. Don't worry if you don't have a green thumb - I don't either and mine hasn't died yet ;) For tips on how to grow an herb garden, click here.
Save time and money by using canned, diced tomatoes in this instead of fresh. You can also save time by cooking the chicken ahead of time. That way, all you have to do is throw the sauce together while the pasta is cooking.
This is my submission to the weekly Presto Pasta Nights, hosted by Ruth over at Once Upon a Feast.
Basil Chicken over Angel Hair Pasta from Allrecipes
1 (8 ounce) package angel hair pasta
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes (I used a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, undrained) 2 cups boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and cubed (I poached my chicken*)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (I used 3/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (I used about 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes) 1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* To poach your chicken, put the chicken breast halves in a large saucepan and add lightly salted water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. You can do this with frozen chicken breasts, too.
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook angel hair pasta until it is al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onions and garlic. Stir in the tomatoes, chicken, basil, salt and hot pepper sauce. Reduce heat to medium, and cover skillet. Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture is hot and tomatoes are soft.
Toss sauce with hot cooked angel hair pasta to coat. Serve with Parmesan cheese.
Yield: 4 Servings