What to CookPasta

A 30-Minute Pasta With All the Charm of a Chicken Parm

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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.

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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.

A polished-up chicken Parm.
A polished-up chicken Parm. Photo by James Ransom

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.

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Chicken Parmesan Pappardelle

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Serves 4
  • 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
Go to Recipe

Have you ever reinvented a classic? Tell us your best twist in the comments!

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Quick and Easy, Books, Chicken, Pasta