Seared Chicken & Fettuccine Pasta with Fairy Tale Eggplant & Fresh Tomato Sauce

Seared Chicken & Fettuccine Pasta

with Fairy Tale Eggplant & Fresh Tomato Sauce

45 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Tonight’s dish is a celebration of summer’s most magical bounty. We’re serving up fettuccine with an easy homemade tomato sauce, full of fresh oregano and tasty vegetables—including petite fairy tale eggplants. With their striking purple color and faint white stripes, this specialty variety is a dream—at once gorgeous and delicious. Juicy chicken rounds out this enchanting seasonal meal.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    800 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Cut off and discard the stem ends of the eggplants; slice into ¼-inch-thick rounds. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Peel and small dice the onion. Core and medium dice the tomato. Pick the oregano leaves off the stems; discard the stems.

Cook & drain the spinach:
2 Cook & drain the spinach:

In a large pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the spinach; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until wilted. Transfer to a strainer; hold or rest over a bowl. Using a spoon, press down on the cooked spinach to release as much liquid as possible; discard the liquid. Transfer to a cutting board and finely chop. Wipe out the pot.

Coat & cook the chicken:
3 Coat & cook the chicken:

Place the flour on a plate. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Thoroughly coat the seasoned chicken in the flour (tapping off any excess). In the pot used to cook the spinach, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the coated chicken and cook 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a plate, leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pot. Loosely cover the cooked chicken with foil and set aside in a warm place.

Cook the pasta:
4 Cook the pasta:

While the chicken cooks, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 13 to 15 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving ¾ cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly.

Cook the vegetables:
5 Cook the vegetables:

While the pasta cooks, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pot of reserved fond and heat on medium-high until hot. Add the eggplants in a single, even layer. Cook 2 to 4 minutes per side, or until browned and tender; season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up any fond, 2 to 4 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add the tomato; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato has softened.

Finish the pasta & serve your dish:
6 Finish the pasta & serve your dish:

To the pot of vegetables, add the chopped spinach, cooked pasta, half the oregano and half the reserved pasta cooking water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring vigorously, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Turn off the heat and stir in the mascarpone cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished pasta between 4 dishes. Top with the cooked chicken. Garnish with the Parmesan cheese and remaining oregano. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Cut off and discard the stem ends of the eggplants; slice into ¼-inch-thick rounds. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Peel and small dice the onion. Core and medium dice the tomato. Pick the oregano leaves off the stems; discard the stems.

2 Cook & drain the spinach:

In a large pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the spinach; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until wilted. Transfer to a strainer; hold or rest over a bowl. Using a spoon, press down on the cooked spinach to release as much liquid as possible; discard the liquid. Transfer to a cutting board and finely chop. Wipe out the pot.

Cook & drain the spinach:
Coat & cook the chicken:
3 Coat & cook the chicken:

Place the flour on a plate. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Thoroughly coat the seasoned chicken in the flour (tapping off any excess). In the pot used to cook the spinach, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the coated chicken and cook 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a plate, leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pot. Loosely cover the cooked chicken with foil and set aside in a warm place.

4 Cook the pasta:

While the chicken cooks, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 13 to 15 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving ¾ cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly.

Cook the vegetables:
5 Cook the vegetables:

While the pasta cooks, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pot of reserved fond and heat on medium-high until hot. Add the eggplants in a single, even layer. Cook 2 to 4 minutes per side, or until browned and tender; season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up any fond, 2 to 4 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add the tomato; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato has softened.

6 Finish the pasta & serve your dish:

To the pot of vegetables, add the chopped spinach, cooked pasta, half the oregano and half the reserved pasta cooking water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring vigorously, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Turn off the heat and stir in the mascarpone cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished pasta between 4 dishes. Top with the cooked chicken. Garnish with the Parmesan cheese and remaining oregano. Enjoy!

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