Chicken Mozzarella Pasta (adapted from Ree Drummond)

1 pound penne or rigatoni
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, finely diced
One 25-ounce jar good-quality marinara sauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into medium cubes
1/4 cup Parmesan shavings, plus grated Parmesan, for serving
12 basil leaves, cut into chiffonade

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Allow to cook, without stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Stir the chicken around to brown it on all sides. Remove to a plate.

If enhancing a sauce from a jar, in the same skillet over medium-high heat, add the garlic and onions and stir immediately to start cooking. Cook until the onions are deep golden, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and pour in the marinara sauce, and add 1/2 cup water. Stir until the onions and garlic are mixed in.

For both jar and homemade sauce, add in red pepper flakes and the chicken back to the skillet. Add the parsley and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 8 minutes.

Make sure the sauce is bubbly and very hot, then gently stir in the mozzarella. Let sit, undisturbed, until you can see that the mozzarella is very soft, 2 to 3 minutes.

Drain the pasta and pour it onto a platter. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Immediately sprinkle on the Parmesan shavings. Pour on the sauce, sprinkle with grated Parmesan and the chiffonade of basil and serve immediately!

For homemade sauce, click here!

Tomato and Arugula Sauce (from Sarah Manaresi’s Kitchen)

1 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
2 cups of fresh arugula
1 tsp. of butter
salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add diced tomatoes and cook down for about 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Add arugula and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately.