Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pasta Ponza

Hello my loyal followers!  I am so sorry for slacking last week.  Between being out of town, being sick, then being out of town AGAIN, I didn't exactly get much cooking done last week.  I'm still feeling a little under the weather but I got sick of laying around and wallering in my sorrows so back into the kitchen I went!

I actually made this dish a while ago, but am just getting around to blogging about it.  As the tomatoes roast in the oven, they make their own flavorful sauce that you then mix in with pasta.  I adapted this recipe. It probably would have been fabulous just as written but as you may have noticed, I am kind of a know it all, and I have to put my own twist on everything (probably why I also added chicken to this recipe).

Pasta Ponza
Makes 4 servings
Start to finish: 45 minutes

8 ounces yellow or orange cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large heirloom tomato (or another 8 ounces of red cherry tomatoes), chopped
1/4 cup capers
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 cup breadcrumbs (I used Panko)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
8 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 lb chicken breasts
flour for dredging + salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and then start prepping your tomatoes.  Halve the cherry tomatoes and chop the heirloom tomato in large chunks.

If you're wondering what makes a tomato an heirloom tomato, besides their hype, they are funny lookin' on the inside.  They looked good at the farmer's market so I figured, why not?

Toss these tomatoes with the capers, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Top with breadcrumbs and seasoning.

Put this concoction in the oven for half an hour.  While they are roasting, boil the water for your pasta and get started on this chicken.

The chicken in this recipe is quite simple.  I pounded out about a pound of chicken breasts to an inch thickness, just so they would cook evenly.  I coated them in salt and pepper and then in flour.

I heated up a few drizzles of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then browned the chicken for about 4 minutes on each side.

Now, you could cook this chicken up in a variety of ways.  Afterall, you're just going to slice it over the top of your pasta.  I did this because I really think this method adds a lot of flavor, and it's not difficult at all.  When your chicken is done, plate it and cover it with aluminum foil so it can stay warm while you finish your dish.

Right about now, your timer should be going off on your tomatoes.  If the breadcrumbs are not brown after 30 minutes, turn your broiler on and let them sit for a couple more minutes.

Simply spoon this make-shift sauce onto the pasta that I know you cooked to al dente and drained, right?  Don't leave any of the syrup-like tomato juice at the bottom of the pan.  That's where the flavor is!

Next, add the Romano and parsley, and toss it all together.

Last but not least, slice the chicken and sprinkle it on top.
I have to be honest, I did not think this meal would be anything special because the ingredients are so simple but WOW.  (That's the word I kept muttering as I ate this bowl and it takes a lot to render me speechless).  But don't take my word for it!


  1. I have 100000000000000 grape tomatoes from the garden. I am so so making this. Can I use regular beefsteak too? I am sure right? Also all mine are red... lol

  2. If you have enough cherry tomatoes, I would just stick with those. Even if they are all red :-)

  3. Yummy in my tummy. Like tonight.