I picked this recipe up while cooking in a small bistro in Lincoln Park in the late 1990’s. Its simplicity makes it a breeze to cook and the few ingredients don’t overpower the simple taste of the goat cheese. A good crusty pane bread is essential to this meal as you want to mop up all of the sauce. I recommend a nice low oak chardonnay high acid chardonnay to go with it.
You can substitute fresh tomatoes for the caned but you will need to boil them for a minute to remove the skins.
Boil salted water and cook the pasta al dente. Shock in cold water to hold the pasta if you are not ready for it.
In a large skillet or Dutch oven add the oil and garlic and cook over medium heat until the garlic blooms. 1-2 minutes. Add a few twists of black pepper from a mill to suit your tastes.
Add the tomatoes and the juice to the pan. Break them up with a wooden spoon into large chunks. Increase the heat to medium high and reduce the liquid until almost dry.
Add the chicken stock / pasta water, white wine and chicken (cut into 2’ long strips) to the pan. Scrape up any bits of fond that have formed. Cook for 5 minutes. Use your judgment at this time on your burner setting. You want to reduce the sauce only by 25% at this point. Add more stock and wine if you over do it.
Add the cheese and stir into the pan. Stir gently for 2-3 minutes to melt the cheese into the sauce. At this time season to taste. Add the pasta to the pan and stir to coat evenly. Please note I never end up using the full pound of the pasta, just most of it.
Plate the pasta and garnish with the basil. Serve with bread.