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Chicken Mozzarella Melt with Pasta Bow Ties

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6 servings SERVINGS

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, divided
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 4 chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
  • 1 box (12 ounces) bow tie pasta
  • 12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, finely chopped, at room temperature
  • 1 ripe tomato, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped roasted red bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  • Prepare marinade by pulsing 1/2 cup basil leaves, olive oil, garlic clove and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender or food processor.
  • Place chicken in a zippered plastic bag; add marinade, seal bag and turn to coat evenly. Refrigerate chicken for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
  • When ready to grill, drain chicken, leaving basil clinging to each piece. Let sit, uncovered, at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
  • Prepare gas or charcoal grill, or preheat broiler. Grill (or broil) chicken, uncovered, for 10 to 12 minutes total, turning and rotating pieces to produce crisscross grill marks.
  • While chicken is cooking, prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain and place in a large serving bowl. Add mozzarella cheese pieces, stirring well to melt cheese.
  • Cut hot chicken into 1/2-inch pieces. Immediately scatter warm chicken and juices over pasta and cheese; toss well. Add remaining basil leaves, tomato, red bell pepper, red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, remaining salt and black pepper; toss to mix well.
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