Friday, February 4, 2011

Yummy Italian

Here is another go to recipe for all of you looking for an easy quick meal. 

It is really so easy and the way that it is set up makes the prep and clean up easy peasy.  This recipe is for (4) servings so make adjustments accordingly.  I almost always make my meals to serve 4-6 even though there is only three of us.  Clint loves leftovers for lunch the next day and Jude is the same so it saves me a prep for the following day.  On this day, I only made enough for three since I knew Clint was going to have a snow day the following day.  (Yay)!

Let's get started.

(1) tbs. of oil
(4) chicken breasts
(2) eggs
(2) cups of bread crumbs (I use Italian flavored)
(1/2) cup of parmesan cheese
(1) jar or your fave spaghetti sauce
(1) ball of fresh mozarella cheese, sliced
(1) Angel hair pasta (or your favorite kind)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Start out by beating the eggs in a shallow bowl.  Mix the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese in another shallow bowl or plate.  Heat a the oil in a pan over medium high heat.  Dip the chicken breast in the eggs and then coat with the bread crumb/parmesan cheese mixture.  Place the chicken in the pan and brown for approximately 4-5 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of your chicken. 

While your chicken is cooking, pour the pasta sauce in a 9 x 13 baking pan.  Once the chicken is complete place on top of the sauce.  Then top with a slice of the mozarella cheese.  Bake for 20-25 minutes. 

In the meantime, cook your pasta.  Once the chicken is complete, plate your pasta and top with sauce and a piece of delicious chicken covered in yummy melted mozarella.

A couple of hints:
-If you don't have Italian bread crumbs, use regular and stir in some Italian seasoning.
-If you don't want to get a ball of cheese, you can use shredded mozarella.
-Wash your prep dishes while your chicken is in the oven and your pasta is cooking.  That way after dinner you are not overwhelmed.
-I make a salad with the left over mozarella.  I slice the remaining and pair it will sliced roma tomatoes and chopped fresh basil.  I drizzle with Italian dressing!  YUM!
-Here is my biggest pasta prep secret.  Are you ready?  I PRE-prepar pasta in advance.  I boil a huge pot of water, cook the pasta, drain the pasta and let it cool.  Once cooled I seperate the appropritate serving size for our family in freezer bags and freeze.  You can either refrigerate for three days or freeze for three months..  On the day that I know I am cooking pasta, I take it out in the morning and let it defrost and just put it in a colander and run it under hot water when I am ready for it.  I cannot tell you what a time saver this is.  Also, less dishes on eating day!  Can't beat that.  Plus, I, nor Clint are able to tell the difference,

This is what I mean by a "ball" of fresh mozarella. 

Here is the chicken all golden brown and place on top of the pasta sauce.

Here is the pasta topped with sliced cheese prior to baking.

We love love love this recipe! 

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