Saturday, January 31, 2009

Chicken Parmigiano

Who doesn't like Chicken Parmigiano? I love it, but what I don't love is the unhealthy fried chicken and too much cheese. This way you can have all of the wonderful flavors and TONS of veggies without the excess fat! My secret? Adding spaghetti squash to the spagnhetti noodles! For those of you who haven't tried spaghetti squash, it is an oval-shaped, pale yellow winter squash that kind of resembles a yellow watermelon. It is full of fiber, vitamins A, B6, C and calcium. When it is cooked, you scrape out the insides and it looks like strands of spaghetti. When it is mixed into pasta, you almost can't tell its there! Pretty cool, right?!

1 15oz can of diced tomatoes in juice
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 med onion, diced
1 bay leave
1 small handful fresh italian parsley, chopped
2 TBS. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 TBS freshly grated parmegiano reggiano
3-4 slices of provolone cheese(I buy mine in the deli)

1 lb chicken breasts(if they are large, just filet the breast in half)
2 TBS. olive oil
salt and pepper

Squash and pasta
1 med spaghetti squash, halved and seeds and strings removed
8 oz. pasta cooked al dente

Preheat oven to 350. Place squash(cut side down) in a large baking dish/sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Prick the outside of the squash several times. Bake for 30-40 min until the strands can be easily scraped with a fork. When done, combine with spaghetti noodles.

To make the sauce, heat olive oil to nearly smoking in a skillet. Add veggies and cook until onions are translucent and starting to brown a bit. Pour in canned tomatoes and add bay leaf, salt and pepper. Simmer until the sauce reduces a bit. Remove bay leaf. Place in blender or processor and run until smooth. Set aside.

In the same skillet, add in remaining olive oil. Salt and pepper both sides of breasts and add to the pan. Cook until lightly browned on both sides and nearly cooked through(about 4 min per side depending on thickness).


Lightly spray baking dish. Add chicken breast to bottom and then pour the sauce over top. Sprinkle with parm cheese and layer with provolone slices on top. Cover with foil and bake for about 20 min and then uncover and bake another 10 min or until cheese is slightly browned.

Serve on top of squash and pasta mixture. Serves 4-6.

Note: If you like alot of sauce, just double the sauce recipe.

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