Grilled Balsamic Chicken With Fusilli With Raw Tomato Sauce
A trip to the farmers' market, a surplus of plum tomatoes, and an intriguing recipe in Bon Appetit led to a simple dinner of grilled balsamic-marinated chicken and pasta with raw tomato sauce. Grilled zucchini and broccoli, roasted fairytale eggplants, and grilled bread rounded out the meal.
After the tomatoes and chicken finish marinating, this meal can be put together in as long as it takes to grill the chicken and boil pasta. The pasta gets a 15-minute rest and then everything can be served together at room temperature. Luckily, I had Jeff to go out and grill the chicken for me while I made the pasta. If you're doing everything yourself, you may just have to let the chicken rest a bit longer while you deal with the pasta. With or without help, it's a pretty simple meal. And it was really flavorful too. I loved being able to enhance the plum tomatoes with vinegars but still enjoy them raw. And it's amazing how the pasta soaks up all the flavors.
Grilled Balsamic Chicken With Fusilli With Raw Tomato Sauce (adapted from Bon Appetit, August 2012)
Serves 2 to 4, with plenty of pasta to spare
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tablespoon cabernet vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, halved, pulp discarded, flesh cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup fresh basil, torn
Kosher salt and pepper
8 ounces fusilli
Place chicken breasts in zipper-lock bag with 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar. Refrigerate and marinate for 1 hour, turning occasionally.
Meanwhile, whisk together olive oil, remaining 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, and cabernet vinegar in large bowl.
Stir in tomatoes and lightly crush with back of spoon.
Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.
After chicken has marinated for an hour, heat grill and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil on the stove.
Remove chicken from bag, letting excess marinade drip off. Grill over a medium-hot fire, about 5 to 10 minutes per side, or until breasts register 160 degrees. Transfer to plate or cutting board to rest and tent with foil.
Cook fusilli in boiling salted water (follow time on package). Drain, return to pot, and stir in tomato mixture.
Let pasta stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Transfer to serving bowl.
Slice the chicken and serve it with the pasta. (The pasta is definitely best the day it's made, but I ate it at room temperature 1 and 2 days later and thought it was still really good.)
It's easy enough to throw some veggies on the grill when you make the chicken if you want to add a little something more to the meal. I went overboard buying squash and eggplant at the farmers' market, so we grilled the squash (and some broccoli for Jeff). And I simply roasted the eggplant in the oven.
I like to think of this dinner as the perfect Italian summer meal.
What's been catching your attention at the farmers' market lately?