A delicious combination of chicken, pasta and tomatoes that can be served warm or chilled for a great meal on a warm summer day! This recipe may look a bit complicated, but I promise you -- it is not. Chicken can be cooked on the stove or on a barbecue. It is great for large family gatherings and does not really need to be served with anything other than a good loaf of bread for sopping up the juices. I hope your family enjoys this as much as mine has.
3 cloves garlic, minced
60g fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup (125ml) olive oil
1/2 cup (125ml) balsamic vinegar
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
450g penne pasta
1 kg grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup (65ml) olive oil
1/4 cup (65ml) balsamic vinegar
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
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Mince garlic cloves in food processor or blender. Add 1/3 of the basil leaves to the processor and chop until fine. Pour in 1/2 cup of olive oil and continue to process until mixture turns light yellow with flecks of basil. Add the balsamic vinegar; process just until combined.
Place the chicken breasts in a large zip-top storage bag along with 1 tablespoon salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper and the contents of the food processor. Squeeze air out of bag and seal. Allow chicken to marinate for 2 hours, or up to overnight, turning occasionally.
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C.
Brown chicken in a large frypan over high heat, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a large baking dish and place in the oven until cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove chicken from oven, slice into 1/2 cm strips and return to baking dish to absorb cooking juices. Keep warm.
While chicken is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Boil the pasta until cooked through, but still firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain well. Stir the chicken and the juices from the baking dish into the hot pasta.
Thinly slice the remaining basil leaves, and place in a large serving bowl along with the tomatoes. Stir in 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Top basil and tomatoes with the hot pasta, sauce and chicken; toss to combine.
Any hearty pasta that will hold the sauce works well in this recipe.
The chicken can be fully cooked on the barbecue, if desired. It will blacken from the vinegar, but will taste delicious.
For a more colourful dish, use a mix of red and yellow tomatoes.