Growing up I had the best of two great food worlds; on one side was cajun and the other Italian. One could say, I was born to be a food lover. We went from gumbo, red beans and jambalaya to pastas. Oddly; however, I don’t recall these dishes much. I remember paneed chicken and veal; not the pomodoro or Caprese; however.
Pomodoro and Caprese are the very definition of simple, few ingredients, fresh and bold flavors. While I remember my mom cooking marinara sauce over the course of a full day, Pomodoro can be executed well in 30-45 minutes. It really goes from great to perfect with an hour of simmering. Caprese is just matter of reducing your balsamic vinegar and slicing some cheese, basil and tomato. Most chefs would tell you to reduce your balsamic down to the consistency of a syrup, I prefer mine a little bit looser than that though. With dishes like this that have so few ingredients it’s important to remember to buy quality ingredients. The flavor will really shine through here and change the experience.
For the salad:
Slice Buffalo mozzarella
Stack the basil and mozzarella on top of the tomato and drizzle some reduced balsamic and good olive oil on top.
For the chicken:
Marinate the chicken for at least 4 hours in a mixture of olive oil, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, and season with spg and red chili flake. Whisk the liquid together to make a simple vinaigrette. Butterfly and pound out the chicken flat then put the chicken in a ziplock bag with the marinade.
Onto the sauce:
For the sauce you’ll need:
Half an onion- diced
3-4 toes of garlic minced
2 tablespoons of basil
Plenty of good olive oil
28 oz can of San Marzano diced tomatoes
Red chili flake
Grated or shredded parm cheese
Cook the onion down in some good olive oil until soft and clear, sweat them down don’t let them caramelize. When they are cooked down add the garlic and cook until fragrant. When the garlic becomes fragrant add in the basil, tomato, spg, chili flake and cook down into a simmer. Let simmer 30 minutes and then taste and reseason as needed. Tip: at this point I add in a little balsamic vinegar.
Let simmer another 30 minutes and season as needed until you have the flavor you like.
Cook some linguini and fold the linguini in with the sauce and some parmigiana cheese.
Take the chicken, pat it dry and put it in am egg wash then some Italian bread crumbs and pan fry it in olive oil.
Let it rest for 5 minuted until some and then slice it.
Serve with the pasta first then garnish with basil leaves and parmigiana and place the chicken sliced on top or around the perimeter of the pasta.
This dish is simple to make, with very few ingredients; but it packs a huge flavor punch!