It’s been so gloomy and rainy in Charlotte this week that it’s taken a pretty nasty toll on my mood. So what better way to spend a rainy evening than with good food and a snuggle on the couch with the one I love? Plus, pasta and sauce were both on sale at Publix tonight, so it seemed like a good night for something in a hand waving, “vaguely Italian looking if you squint at it right” and a good film noir, in this case The Maltese Falcon.
Pesto Stuffed Chicken Parmesan with Angel Hair Pasta
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Roughly 2-3 tablespoons pesto (homemade or bottled would do, but I used bottled–approximate amount is fine)
4-6 slices mozzarella cheese (from a pack of pre-sliced cheese)
1-1 1/2 c. flour
1 egg, beaten
1-1 1/2 c. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 jar of spaghetti sauce
1/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
Angel hair pasta, cooked to package instructions, for serving
Preheat oven to 350F. Put the chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound them out as thin as you can without them falling apart. On each, set a slice of mozzarella and a spoonful of pesto, as pictured below.
Fold the chicken in half so that the cheese and pesto are on the inside and pin it closed with a toothpick. Put the flour on a plate and the bread crumbs on another. Season the flour generously with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Coat the chicken with the flour, then egg, then bread crumbs, and cook until the outside is browned on both sides, then place in an 11×7 inch baking dish. Pour over enough pasta sauce to cover the chicken and the bottom of the dish, and lay the remaining slices of mozzarella over the top of the chicken, then sprinkle the Parmesan over the top. Bake about 20 minutes, until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the cheese is starting to brown a little. Make a bed of pasta on the plate, spoon the sauce from around the chicken onto the pasta, and serve the chicken on top.