2/3 box rotini pasta
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 large box* diced tomatoes, undrained - or – 1 pint fresh cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 can black olives
1 tbsp. lemon zest
6 basil leaves, chiffonade
4 oz. grated mozzarella
4 oz. grated parmesan
4 tbsp. olive oil (for sautéing chicken) + 1 tbsp. oil for heating garlic, tomatoes, and olives
Ground black pepper
- Prepare pasta until al dente. Drain, set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large, deep pan. Salt and pepper chicken on both sides. Sauté chicken in pan 2 – 3 minutes per side, depending on thickness of chicken. (You want it tender and cooked thoroughly, not dried out.)
- Place chicken on a plate to the side, covered with foil to keep it warm.
- In the same pan you prepared the chicken in, heat tomatoes. If using fresh tomatoes, press them with a spoon while cooking to slightly mash them. Add garlic. Stir until garlic is fragrant. Add olives and warm through with the tomatoes and garlic until everything is hot.
- Put pasta on plates. Top each plate of pasta with a chicken breast. Pour tomato-olive mixture over each piece of chicken.
- Quickly sprinkle each plate with equal amounts of mozzarella and parmesan so the cheese melts.
- Sprinkle each serving with lemon zest and top with basil.
- Serve immediately.
If you find that your pasta has cooled off too much before the chicken is ready, you can plate the pasta and chicken together and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds or so, then continue plating with the sauce and cheese.
* Why Canned Tomatoes are Bad for You (use fresh or boxed, please, because I care!)