Penne Arrabiata is one of my hubby’s all-time favorite meals.
I often make this dish with different tomato sauces, but the basic concept is always the same: spicy tomato sauce, grilled chicken, fresh mozzarella mini balls, penne pasta, fresh basil served with a side tomato/mozzarella/balsamic salad (to use up some more of the basil and mozzarella you use in the pasta).
Lacheteau loire-valley white wine – a cross between riesling and pinot grigio. Light and just sweet enough. I sampled this at Trader Joe’s this past weekend and fell in love at first sip.
After gathering my ingredients and getting some pasta water done and chicken cooking in the griller, I poured myself some vino to sip on whilst cooking.
I usually make my arrabiata sauce using some canned tomatoes, some fresh tomatoes, and lots of pepper, but I recently picked up this jar of Arrabiata sauce at Trader Joe’s and was looking for a short cut tonight.
While my pasta cooked and chicken grilled away, I made another mozzarella caprese-like salad (made before dinner was ready so the flavors could mesh) – click here for “recipe.”
I chopped extra tomatoes to toss into the Arrabiata sauce since I had them on hand.
Penne Arrabiata needs lots of spicy! Red pepper flakes are a must.
Grilled chicken, allowed to rest, then sliced.
Pasta, chicken, and Arrabiata sauce.
A few minutes before you’re ready to eat, add a few mini mozzarella balls to the top of the pasta, turn off the heat, and cover the pot.
A few minutes later – ooey, gooey, melty deliciousness in the form of mozzarella!
Here’s a close-up…mmm….
Top with fresh basil and enjoy!!
Chicken Penne Arrabiata with Mozzarella and Basil
- .5-1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1/2 box penne pasta
- mini mozzarella balls
- 1 large jar tomato sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Arrabiata sauce)
- fresh tomato (I used a handful or two of cherry/roma tomatoes, chopped)
- red pepper flakes
- non-stick spray
- salt + pepper
- fresh basil, rinsed, chopped
- aluminum foil
- Spray an electric griller with non-stick cooking spray. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Grill chicken till cooked through. (I used an electric grill that didn’t require pre-heating time). Once chicken is cooked through, remove to cutting board and cover with aluminum foil tent.
- Meanwhile, boil water for pasta in a medium-large pot. Add salt and pasta to water and cook a couple minutes under recommended cooking time.
- Once pasta done, drain in colander. Rinse pasta with cool water to stop cooking. Add sauce and chopped tomatoes to the pot you used to cook the pasta. Cook over medium heat till sauce starts to boil, lower to simmer. Stir in a dash (or 2…or 3…depending on how hot you like it) of red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Once sauce is simmering, add chicken. Cook till chicken heated through (about 2-3 minutes).
- Add pasta to pot. Cook till pasta heated through (about 1-2 minutes).
- Top pasta with several balls of mozzarella (try to space them out – they will stick together if they touch). Turn heat off and cover pot.
- Once mozzarella has melted down a bit, serve the pasta and top with the fresh basil. Enjoy!
It doesnt have anything to do with the pasta, but tonight’s dessert will be an adora (dark chocolate calcium supplement). I get to eat this little piece of chocolate as soon as I’m done blogging. I hope I like it! A mini dessert of dark chocolate will be the perfect dessert for this dinner…I always overeat on Penne Arrabiata night because it’s so delish!