Updated: Feb 11, 2021
The beginning of a new year seems like a good time to post the first ever recipe on our website - although 'recipe' feels like a strong word for a dish that involves almost no effort, only two steps and very few ingredients.
After nine months of making dinner for my family almost every single night during lockdown, culminating in a rash decision to make Cassoulet for Christmas (a multi-day shopping, prepping and cooking effort culminating in a dish that was no more delicious than the cannellini soup I can throw together in 15 minutes), I am ready to take it easy and keep things simple for a while.
So when my eye alighted upon this recipe for oven-baked chicken with pesto and cherry tomatoes the other day, I was intrigued. It was texted to me by a foodie friend, and although I am generally loathe to stray far from tradition when it comes to Italian cuisine, I could tell immediately that this dish would be delicious, and indeed it is. To make, simply preheat the oven to 350 degrees, season chicken breasts generously with salt, pepper and olive oil, place in a pyrex baking dish (for easy clean-up), and pop in the oven for 20 minutes, before scattering cherry tomatoes over the top and baking for another 10-15 mins, or until the chicken is no longer pink inside.
Once the chicken is done, spoon Sugo Classic Basil pesto sauce over the top, and serve with orzo pasta tossed with olive oil and a little Parmigiano-Reggiano, mashed potatoes, or crusty bread to mop up the sauce. The mild flavor of the chicken compliments the pesto beautifully, and the roasted, caramelized tomatoes provide a welcome burst of acidity to balance out the flavor. Note: any leftovers can be reheated in the same dish in the oven next day, or in a nonstick pan or cast-iron griddle on the stove. I did the latter, then grilled Trader Joe's Tuscan bread in the same pan with a little olive oil and salt, before tearing some mozzarella and letting it melt on top of the bread in the hot pan, topping with sliced chicken and warm tomatoes, sprinkling with arugula and assembling the most amazing panini in a matter of minutes.