Ricotta Chicken and Creamy Basil-Tomato Sauce Over Pasta

Ricotta Chicken and Creamy Basil-Tomato Sauce Over Pasta

Original Tried & True Recipe.

I really don't have much to say about this recipe – it combines all my favorite things. Creamy, aromatic ricotta cheese, succulent chicken, and a spicy, roasted tomato sauce. What's not to love?

If you want to skip the fresh tomato route, use a 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes and skip roasting them. Simply add them to the skillet, bring to a boil, and break them up with a spoon. You will probably not need the chicken stock, but you can add it if you like.

Serves: 2, with a bit left over
Cost: Approximately $6.52 per serving.* (This price doesn't include dried herbs, oil, and other common pantry items)

GRADE

Cost: $
Skill Level: Easy
Time to Make: 60 minutes (30 minutes active)

INGREDIENTS

2 skin-on boneless chicken breasts

6 ripe tomatoes (or use a 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes and skip roasting them)

Olive oil

1/2 cup chicken stock

1 ounce fresh basil

Crushed red pepper to taste

Pinch of sugar

2 tablespoons ricotta cheese

1/4 cup parsley

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons heavy cream

8 ounces pasta of your choice (I used bucatini)

Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

Prep Ingredients: Preheat oven to 425ºF. Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Remove the core from the tomatoes and quarter. Pick the basil from the stems. Set aside a few leaves for garnish and thinly slice the leaves that will be used garnish. Tear the rest of the basil leaves in half. Mince the parsley.

Make the Ricotta Topping: In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, parsley, and extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high. Once very hot, add the chicken, skin side down, and cook for 3 minutes or until the skin is browned and crispy. Flip and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from pan and cover with foil. Note: the chicken won't be cooked through the whole way.

Add the tomatoes to the skillet and transfer to the oven. Cook for 25 minutes until blistered and soft. Remove from the oven and use a fork (a dough blender works great for this!) to gently break the tomatoes apart into small pieces. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.

Stir in the chicken stock and continue boiling for 7-8 minutes or until the liquid has reduced slightly. Add a pinch of sugar, salt, pepper, and a crushed red pepper to taste. Turn off the heat. Stir in the heavy cream and torn basil.

Place the chicken on top, skin side up. Add a tablespoon of the ricotta cheese mixture to each breast and use the back of the spoon to smear it evenly across the top. Transfer the skillet back to the oven and cook for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the ricotta cheese has melted.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the pasta according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.

Remove the skillet from the oven and transfer the chicken to two plates. Add 1/2 cup pasta cooking water and cook for 3-4 minutes over medium high. Add the cooked pasta and toss with tongs to coat. Turn off the heat.

To Serve: Add a serving of pasta next to the chicken on each plate. Garnish with the sliced basil. Enjoy!

Designer and photographer living in NYC. I work at 2U, shoot for Time Out New York, and love to cook delicious recipes in my spare time!