How was your Valentine’s Day so far? Would love to hear if you did anything even if you celebrated early since it’s on a Monday or if you’re planning a date in the future.
Have you watched Buddy from Cake Boss’s new show Kitchen Boss? I’m so jealous of my friend Lisa from Jersey Girl Cooks. Lisa and her kids met him back in 2009. (Click HERE for details.) I would love to see if he’s as full of life as he is on tv.
Today’s recipe comes from his show labeled Date Night. You’ve already seen one of his recipes (asparagus) last week which I made for Valentine’s. I really liked it, but you have to grill the chicken on the BBQ pit, because I could see how the dish would taste bland and blend together. So easy to do ahead of time then pop in the oven when you’re ready.
Chicken Sorrentino Fusilli
(Adapted from Buddy Valastro)
2 halves boneless, skinless chicken breast (approx 6-7 oz. each), trimmed
1 crushed clove garlic
1 small eggplant, 1 pound or less
2 thin slices prosciutto
½ cup breadcrumbs
2 large eggs
½ cup all purpose flour
½ pound fresh mozzarella, sliced
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
Extra virgin olive oil
2 cups marinara sauce
¼ pound fusilli pasta, cooked al dente
Few leaves torn fresh basil
Preheat oven to 350°.
Sprinkle the chicken breast halves with salt, pepper, drizzle with olive oil and turn to coast with the crushed garlic. Let rest while you prepare the sauce and eggplant. (I used some leftover butter/seasoning I had and added crushed garlic to it.)
In a small saucepot, heat the tomato sauce and warm through.
Peel the eggplant and slice across the width into 1/4 inch rounds – you will only need four pieces for this recipe.
Place the breadcrumbs and the flour each in two shallow plates. Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat. Dip each piece of eggplant first into the flour, tapping off excess, then into the beaten egg, allowing excess to drip off, then lastly, coat in crumbs.
Heat a large (12”) skillet over medium-high heat and add 1/4 cup oil. When oil is shimmering gently lay in the eggplant and fry until golden brown on each side.
Place on a plate lined with a paper towel and sprinkle lightly with salt. Set aside while finishing the chicken.
Heat a cast iron grill pan (or other grilling device) over medium high heat. Grill the chicken breasts on each side until nicely marked but not cooked through. Set aside. (I did mine on the grill outside.)
In a bowl, toss the fusilli with 1/2 of the marinara sauce – enough to coat well and sprinkle with a little grated parmesan. Place in the bottom of a small, lightly oiled baking dish.
Place the chicken pieces side by side on top of the pasta.
Top each piece of chicken with a slice of prosciutto, two pieces of eggplant and the sliced mozzarella.
Bake until the cheese is melted and the chicken is cooked through – approx 10 minutes.
You can brown the cheese with a quick turn under the broiler, if desired. Top with remaining sauce and fresh basil.