Friday, September 12, 2014

Grilled Chicken Pasta with Tomato and Eggplant Sauce


I still have an overabundance of homegrown ripe tomatoes with two large baking pans on my kitchen counter filled with them. Not a bad position to be in because we dearly love homegrown tomatoes but scary when it comes to using them all before they become overripe.  This year, I added San Marzano tomatoes to my garden just so I could make tomato sauce. 


I am also growing eggplant in a container on the patio for the first time.


I have many other eggplant recipes bookmarked, but the first one I wanted to make was this tomato and eggplant sauce to take advantage of all of those ripe tomatoes. The inspiration for the recipe is here.


This sauce can be used for chicken or fish alone, pasta alone, or for a combination of both as I did.  Even if you're not fond of eggplant, I think you will still love this recipe.  The eggplant adds just enough flavor but not so that it's overpowering. And, if you need further coaxing, eggplant is very healthy!  It's loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals and is very low in calories. 


When I asked my husband how if he enjoyed the recipe, he responded "We can have this anytime!".  High praise, indeed :)  This weekend, I'm planning on preparing the same sauce to serve over grilled salmon. 


Grilled Chicken Pasta with Tomato-Eggplant Sauce

Adapted from Cooking Scout

4 servings

This fast and easy sauce makes a delicious topping for grilled chicken and fish. It is also wonderful over pasta.

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to a uniform thickness of about 1/2 inch thick
1 pound of pasta of your choice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups unpeeled eggplant, trimmed and chopped into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces
4 cups (I used a little more) plum (or regular) tomatoes, trimmed and chopped into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces, along with their juice

Brush chicken with 1 tablespoon of the oil; rub with one minced clove of garlic, 1 tablespoon each chopped oregano and parsley, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 8 hours. If you don't have access to the fresh herbs, you may substitute dried herbs but reduce to 1 teaspoon each.  If you have Mr. & Mrs. Dash Original seasoning it also makes a wonderful seasoning for grilled chicken. If using dried seasonings, also rub the chicken with oil before seasoning. 

Microwave chopped eggplant, in large microwave-safe bowl with 3 tablespoons water, covered, for about 3 to 4 minutes or until crisp-tender.  Drain excess liquid.

Cook the remaining 3 cloves of minced garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large skillet preheated over medium heat for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the chopped tomatoes, eggplant and remaining 1 tablespoon oregano, 1 tablespoon parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook over medium-high to high heat 5 to 8 minutes or until eggplant is tender and sauce is slightly thickened. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Reheat before serving.
Heat a large pot of water to boiling. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and cook pasta of choice (I used Capellini or Angel Hair pasta) according to package directions.

Oil grill grate and heat grill. Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat or coals for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until no longer pink in center, turning once. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. 

Place one chicken breast per person on a bed of pasta and spoon tomato-eggplant sauce over the top.  Sprinkle with a garnish a freshly chopped parsley and enjoy!

37 comments:

  1. Hi Susan, this looks real and delicious too, this is something that I would make and the flavor of grilling the chicken and herbs, spices, tomatoes gives it and great taste, “just like Italian Food” you are lucky to have a vegetable garden..p.s. I miss all that. :(

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    1. Thank you, Rosa. Yes, I am lucky to have some space for vegetable gardening. I love tending to my little crops :)

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  2. Your tomato sauce looks luscious and full of tomatoes. I'm not sure you can have too many tomatoes :)
    Sam

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    1. Thank you, Sam. I think I may have to freeze some eventually, but I'd rather have too many than not enough :)

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  3. I'm with Sam! That sauce looks delicious and I have all the ingredients except the eggplant. Another lovely way to enjoy those fresh from the garden tomatoes.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  4. Hi,
    There is no comparison of fresh veggies from your own garden and the market bought.
    It must have tasted delicious.

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    1. Thank you, Rashida, for your kind comment and visit.

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  5. I am not a big fan of eggplant, but would probably like it cooked that way.
    Enjoy your weekend !

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  6. Looks great!
    Yum..yum yum..

    We went to Jean Talon market yesterday and stocked up and all that goodness..peppers..tomatoes..cukes..dill ..eggplants..scapes..
    Nature at it's best with the bounty offered.
    Your minis are adorb.
    I think that tip about microwaving the eggplant for that sauce is wonderful.
    Tomorrow I am making ratatouille:)
    Love the yellow dahlia..thank goodness for them right now!

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    1. It's a wonderful time of year for the veggies, isn't it? Yes, thank goodness for the dahlias - the highlight of the garden right now.

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  7. I love eggplants and this look really delicious Susan:)

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  8. I love that you're growing these in containers! Beautiful eggplant! Delicious recipe, too! Hope you're having a great weekend.

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    1. I've been having great luck with my containers this year! Thanks, Julie!

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  9. wow those finger eggplants are so adorable. I was trying to grow some eggplants before, but without any success. I will have to try again next year. The pasta with grilled chicken and eggplant-tomato sauce looks so very appetizing and moreish.

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    1. Thanks, Angie! I guess I was lucky my first attempt at growing eggplant :)

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  10. YOU are so LUCKY to have all these wonderful fresh vegetables right in your own backyard! And I love that you even planted some San Marzano tomatoes in your garden? How wonderful! And, this pasta dish with grilled chicken? ....boy my family would go nuts over this one, thanks Sue!

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  11. Hi Susan, my your plants all look so healthy, what a green thumb you have. Love eggplant and tomatoes, great recipe!

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    1. Thank you, Cheri! Some years are a struggle but this was a great year for growing veggies.

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  12. Hi Susan, looks great, I could eat this anytime, love the sauce over chicken and angel hair pasta!! :)

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  13. What a wonderful sauce, I can just imagine the fresh flavors. I've got to find some of those adorable eggplant!

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    1. I found them at my favorite nursery in the spring. Thanks, Sue!

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  14. these looks delicious and love your green thumb

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    1. I've enjoyed playing in the dirt for many years, Rebecca :)

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  15. One can never have enough tomato and eggplant recipes :-) This recipe is like summer on a plate.

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  16. This one is going in my box, I love eggplant ! Have a great week Susan, a warm hug

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  17. Those eggplants are beautiful! We had a big family dinner today and it was all garden oriented. We made more of the Baked Jalapeno Poppers and had fresh salsa (where I consumer most of my tomato supply) and several salads, one with kale and the other a cucumber and tomato salad. My daughter made my French Peach pie and it was just so fun and refreshing. This one looks beautiful for tomorrow. Hubby would love it!

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  18. Such beauties from the garden Susan. It is a times like these that I miss my gardens, but I have resigned myself to condo living.

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  19. I've been on an eggplant kick, and since I'm still reveling in summer tomatoes, I think this sounds like a pretty perfect meal as well! Great for an end of summer pasta sauce.

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  20. What a beautiful dish. I bet it is delicious, and I love your photographs. The colors are beautiful and so true to life. This is a glorious farewell to summer.

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  21. Oh how divine, Susan. I LOVE eggplant! Baked, fried and in casseroles. Yours look beautiful, I'm so impressed. I do miss a garden.

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  22. I adore eggplant so much, so this looks like the perfect dish - just with a chicken sub of course :P

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  23. Delicious pasta...and yest I love the addition of eggplants...perfect weekday meal.
    Have a beautiful week Susan :D

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