It’s grilling season. It’s fresh tomato season. It’s fresh herb season. It’s the season when it’s sometimes too hot to cook!
This meal takes an awful lot of pressure away. That leaves time for more important things, like sunning oneself, spending time on the beach, sipping icy drinks, and *bingewatchingorangeisthenewblack* *cough*
Anyway, the beauty of this meal is that the chicken can be cooked ahead of time and added in later; it warms up quickly when it hits the heat of the pasta. Also, this recipe celebrates the flavors of the season…which I just love. I adapted the recipe from here and made it my own — isn’t that what cooking is all about?!
Fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil — does it get any better than that?! If you’re a bruschetta monster (like I am) when you go out to eat, this quick pasta dish will definitely tide you over until you can get your next toasty, tangy fix!!
Mangia!!! 🙂 <3
Grilled Chicken & Bruschetta Pasta
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, seasoned with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning
- 8 oz. of your favorite pasta (I used bucatini — obsessed with it…will explain later)
- 8 oz. mozzarella pearls, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 c. olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 1/3 red onion OR 1 small shallot (the red and purple onions are sweeter than the traditional yellow or white — they work much better in this recipe!)
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar — more or less depending on how you feel about vinegar
- 1 pint fresh cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving if you’d like/if you aren’t crazy
- 2-3 tbsp. fresh herbs — I used basil and parsley
- salt and pepper to taste throughout
- hot pepper flakes (optional)
~ Cook the chicken however you like. You can roast it, pan-fry it, cook it on a grill pan….but I think the best way to cook this is on the grill. It keeps the heat outside and you can prep other things while the chicken cooks!! Once the chicken is done, cut it into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
~ Cook the pasta according to package directions. Set aside back in large pasta pot — the large pot will make it easier to toss everything together! (Brief aside — I have always liked bucatini but have gone off the deep end since buying some last spring @ Eataly in NYC. Its name comes from a word meaning ‘hole’ which makes sense, since bucatini is a hollowed out piece of spaghetti. Whatever sauce you’re using drips into the holes, creating magic. Sheer magic. Love it. You can’t find it everywhere….so you can be a nut like me and order it on Amazon Prime!!)
~ In a medium-sized saucepan, warm your olive oil over medium heat. Add in the minced onion and garlic at the same time. Stir constantly, since you don’t want the garlic to burn. Add salt, pepper, and optional heat to taste. Toss and stir for about a minute.
~ Add in the balsamic vinegar and cherry tomatoes. Mix together for one more minute and turn off the heat. This doesn’t cook for very long at all! Check for seasoning and add more salt/pepper as needed.
~ Stir in the Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs. Remove from heat.
~ Add the chicken and mozzarella pearls into the pasta. Toss together, making sure to distribute all of the goodies evenly. Mix in the tomato mixture. Can you smell that as you read? Because I can!!
~ Serve with crusty bread, additional cheese to sprinkle on top, and a garden salad. Enjoy, fellow bruschetta monsters!!! <3