Lemony artichokes, roasted tomatoes, pasta….heaven in a dish. I was craving pasta this past weekend due to a bit of a broken heart (ahhh, life….) and this dish was therapy in a bowl. It was just what my little cuore (heart) needed to smooth over the tatters. And smooth it did….the combination of the lemony artichokes with the roasted tomatoes is heavenly and a perfect light pasta dish for the summer heat. I gave this recipe the royal treatment by cutting the chicken into bite sized pieces and breading; and roasted the tomatoes from my garden to concentrate the flavor (ahhh, all the chopping and dicing was very therapeutic indeed). Short on time ? Simply use roasted chicken from the market and fresh tomatoes tossed in last minute (rather than roasting). If you have the time, the combination of the breaded chicken and the roasted tomatoes do take this recipe to another level and adds tremendous flavor. Whichever method you choose, cook up a batch and enjoy the therapy!
Lemon Spaghetti with Roasted Artichokes, Tomatoes and Chicken
For the tomatoes:
10 plum or roma tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, diced
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
For the artichokes:
2 packages frozen artichoke hearts
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 cloves of garlic, diced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
For the chicken:
2 pounds chicken breast
2 eggs, beaten
Italian-flavored bread crumbs (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
For the pasta:
1 pound spaghetti
Fresh basil leaves (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup), shredded
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
1. Roast the tomatoes:
–Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
-Slice the tomatoes lengthwise. Core and slice horizontally into 1/2 inch slices. Lay on baking sheet.
-Sprinkle with the chopped garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil.
-Bake until tomatoes are tender and roasted, about 30 minutes. Remove and let cool.
2. Prepare the artichokes and chicken:
-Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees.
-In a deep ovenproof pan, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, chopped garlic, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Add the frozen artichoke hearts.
-Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to coat the artichoke hearts.
-Cover the pan with foil and place in the oven.
-Cook until the artichokes are tender and browned in spots, about 25 to 30 minutes.
-While the artichokes are roasting, cut the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces.
-Beat the eggs in one dish. Mix the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese in another.
-Dredge the chicken pieces in the egg and then the breadcrumbs. Place on a baking sheet. (The chicken can be prepared a few hours ahead and placed in the refrigerator.)
3. Finish the dish:
-Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to directions.
-While the pasta is cooking, in a large heavy skillet, fry the breaded chicken pieces in olive oil. Place on a plate to drain.
-In the same skillet, add the roasted artichokes. Remove the bay leaf from the artichokes. Toss in the roasted tomatoes to warm.
-Drain the pasta. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water.
-Put the pasta back in the pot and add the cooking water, artichoke and tomato mixture. Stir to coat.
-Stir in the chicken pieces last minute.
-Plate the pasta in a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the shredded basil leaves and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!