Pasta with Grilled Chicken, Tomatoes and Pine Nuts
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1⁄2 cup salt – I use sea salt…table salt is ‘saltier’ so you may need to use less
1⁄2 cup sugar
- Prepare a brine by dissolving the salt and sugar in 1 1⁄2 quarts of water or so. I use a gallon sized zip-lock bag.
- Lay each chicken breast half between sheets of plastic wrap and pound them to half-inch thickness.
- Put the chicken in the brine mixture, close the bag and put it into a bowl. Let the chicken brine in the refrigerator 45 min to an hour.
- Prepare a grill. Drain the chicken and coat liberally with olive oil.
- Grill the chicken until cooked through…approximately 3 – 4 minutes per side.
- Take off the grill, season with pepper and let rest a few minutes before slicing.
1 lb. pasta – I use pennoni which is a longer rigatoni shape, but any shape is fine
1 pint fresh cherry tomatoes
1 large bunch of fresh basil, roughly chopped
1⁄4 cup pine nuts, toasted
parmigiano – I prefer shredded to grated
- Heat pasta water and season with salt.
- Slice tomatoes in half, sprinkle lightly with salt, and place in colander over a bowl. Leave for one half hour or so. This will draw some of the liquid out of the tomatoes.
- Cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve a half cup cooking water, then drain.
- Return the pasta, half cup cooking water, 2 tablespoons butter and several glugs of olive oil to pot and toss.
- Slice chicken into quarter inch strips and add to pasta
- Drain and add tomatoes to pasta
- Just before serving, toss in basil, pine nuts and shredded parmigiano
- Season with pepper – you shouldn’t need added salt at this point.