I doubt that you would find this on any menu in a restaurant in Italy. I’m not even sure where this recipe originated but, eons ago, it become a favorite in our house.
Quick, easy, satisfying, and delicious!
1 LB CHICKEN BREAST
8 OZ FRESH MOZZARELLA
2 CUPS TOMATO PASSATA
1/3 CUP FLOUR
2-3 TBS BUTTER
1 TB CORN STARCH
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
FRESH BASIL LEAVES
DRY OREGANO – to taste
1 GARLIC CLOVE – chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste
Slice the chicken breast into cutlets and pound lightly. So much easier if you can find cutlets already sliced but still pound these a little. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. (I season with a little garlic powder, but that is totally optional. I’m a garlic fan.)
On a flat surface or a dinnerplate mix the flour and the cornstarch together. Dip each cutlet into the mixture and dredge each side pressing into the flour as you do.
In a large heavy-duty skillet, on medium heat, add the butter and the olive oil.
When the oil is starting to sizzle, without letter the butter brown, add the cutlets.
Brown the cutlet on each side and then remove from the pan to a platter to keep warm.
In the same pan add the chopped garlic and stir around until it starts to soften and you can start to smell the aroma. Add the white wine, stir well scraping any little bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan and simmer for a few minutes. Add the tomato passata (you can use puree, if you don’t have passata), basil leaves, salt, pepper, oregano and simmer on low heat for about 8-10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
When the sauce is nice and hot, place the chicken cutlets back into the pan, cover with a bit of the passata, top with mozzarella slices, cover the pan and simmer for another 5-7 minutes until the cheese is melted and the chicken is heated thoroughly. Taste again for seasonings and adjust to your liking.
NOTE: this is a great dish to serve with a small side of pasta, rice or orzo!
I’ve seen pizzaiola recipes that include sliced onions and bell peppers. That’s a good way to incorporate vegetables but that’s not the way my Nonna made it.