Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
While pasta cooks, place tomatoes in a food processor; process until almost smooth. Heat a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add pepper and garlic; cook 1 minute or until fragrant, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and 3/8 teaspoon salt; cook 15 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in chopped basil. Toss 1 cup sauce with pasta; keep warm.
While sauce cooks, split each chicken breast half horizontally to form 2 cutlets (4 total). Combine flour, garlic powder, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle tops of cutlets with half of flour mixture; pat evenly onto cutlets. Turn cutlets over. Sprinkle with remaining flour mixture; pat onto cutlets. Shake off any excess flour. Place egg in a shallow dish. Combine panko and Parmigiano-Reggiano in another shallow dish. Dip cutlets in egg; dredge in panko mixture.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and butter to pan; swirl until butter melts. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned and done. Place chicken on a baking sheet; top evenly with mozzarella. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts.
Arrange about 1/2 cup pasta mixture on each plate; top each with 1 cutlet and about 3 tablespoons remaining sauce. Sprinkle with torn basil, if desired.
I made this last night and we enjoyed it . I have been making chicken parm since New York was a prairie and I thought this was an outstanding recipe. 1- the sauce took no time and was quite tasty, I used fire roasted organic tomatoes, 2- the panko cooked up crispier than regular bread crumbs, maybe the flour coating prior to breading was responsible but what ever works, I will continue to bread in this fashion. I agree that it is time consuming but that is the nature of the chicken parmesan. Thanks for this one !
I have made this two times and eaten it a third time prepared by someone else. When i prepared it per the recipe it turned out burnt and tough. My second attempt turned out much better. I have learned to not include the cheese in the breading (it burns) but instead top the finished chicken with cheese and put it under the broiler for a moment. Also, breast size matters. The best size is a small-to-medium breast that after butterflying is about 1-2 oz, small and thin enough to cook all the way through when pan frying for 3 - 5 minutes per side. otherwise if you have to finish them off in the oven they can get tough. Breading ran short so I would make 2x the breading next time. I would double the salt in the recipe too to meet my personal taste.
Make the pasta last. I feel that the recipe is out of order.
The SAUCE, that rocked my world. so easy and fresh. It doesn't get any thicker after prolonged simmering so just make it and heat it up for 20 minutes like the recipe says.
The chicken was very good, but the sauce was just bland somehow. I did use one can each of tomato sauce and diced tomatoes (didn't see the point of processing) but the result should have been similar, and it ended up simmering a long time. I also found this surprisingly labor-intensive; start-to-finish was 3 hours, although part of this was making homemade pasta and rolling and cutting the spaghetti. I don't like broccoli rabe and had planned a salad instead, but by the time the meal was ready I didn't want to delay any further. I would make this again but tweak the sauce to make it better.
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