chicken puttanesca with zucchini and orzo

Pasta, vegetables and chicken might seem like a simple combination, but don’t be fooled.

By: Anna Decker / 08/05/2015

The trick is finishing the chicken breasts in a flavorful Puttanesca sauce, packed with colorful summer vegetables such as zucchini and tomatoes, and topped with fresh basil. Olives and capers lend a sharp saltiness that will have you dreaming of Southern Italy. Cook, relax and enjoy!

What you’ll need: 3 oz orzo pasta 1 shallot 2 cloves garlic 1 medium zucchini 1 lb roma tomatoes 2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves ¼ cup pitted kalamata olives 1 tablespoon capers 1 sprig basil olive oil coarse salt freshly ground black pepper

Equipment: large pot strainer large skillet

Recipe steps:

  1. Cook the pasta Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the pasta until al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain, reserving ¼ cup pasta water, then toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil.

  2. Prep the vegetables Meanwhile, cut the ends off the shallot, cut in half then peel and slice. Peel and slice the garlic. Slice the zucchini and chop the tomatoes.

  3. Sear the chicken Meanwhile, season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and add chicken breasts. Cook until golden, about 3 minutes, then flip and cook 2 more minutes. Transfer to a plate.

  4. Cook the sauce Return the skillet over medium-high. Add the shallots and cook until translucent, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and zucchini, season with salt, then cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, and pasta water; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer.

  5. Finish chicken Nestle the chicken breasts into the sauce and place skillet into the oven. Cook until the sauce reduces slightly, about 10 minutes. Add olives and capers and bake until chicken is cooked, about 5 minutes more.

  6. Garnish and serve Divide pasta among two plates and top with sauce, chicken, and fresh basil leaves.

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