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Look, we know that crispy, breaded chicken smothered in tomato sauce isn’t exactly autentico. But chicken Parm is delicious, the equivalent of a big, warm Italian-American hug. And for blogger and author Gaby Dalkin, it was the first thing she learned to cook.
“I would make it at least three times a week and serve it to everyone—my college roommates, my tennis teammates, my then boyfriend, and so on,” she writes in her newest book, What’s Gaby Cooking.
Now, between breading and frying and baking in a bath of mozzarella and sauce, cooking chicken Parm can be a bit of a production. So to speed things up, Dalkin threw all the signature parts of the dish—marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, Italian seasoning—together with pappardelle and ground chicken.
Her recipe mostly comes together in one pan (you’ll need to boil the pappardelle in another pot). Just brown ground chicken in a large skillet for about 10 minutes, then add the marinara sauce and bring to a simmer for 20 minutes. Dalkin adds the cheese to her sauce pre-pasta, but we found the dish worked best by sprinkling the shredded cheese over already-sauced noodles.
Sure, this twist on chicken Parm still isn’t authentic—but it’s just as comforting and delicious.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 1/4 pounds (565g) ground chicken (white or dark meat, or ground turkey)
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (26-ounce/780ml) jar marinara sauce
- 1 cup (100g) shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more to garnish
- 1 cup (110g) shredded mozzarella cheese
- 12 ounces (340g) pappardelle pasta
- 1 handful small fresh basil leaves
Have you ever reinvented a classic? Tell us your best twist in the comments!