I usually make the sauce early in the day and chill until needed (it only takes about 2 min. to make in the blender) so all I have to do is cook the chicken and pasta and dinner is served very quickly. The basic recipe serves about 6. Feel free to double if you like-you'll want leftovers. This tastes like one of the amazing pasta dishes you would get at Macaroni Grille, and you will not believe how easy and fast it is to make.
Be sure to use a good olive oil for the sauce, as it doesn't cook much and the flavor is important.
Linguine & Chicken with Sun-dried Tomato Sauce
½ c. + 1 T. olive oil
3 T. balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic
½ t. sugar
1 c. roughly chopped red onion
½ c. oil packed sun-dried tomatoes
¾ c. chopped fresh basil (or 2 T. dried – but fresh is strongly recommended!)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (or 9 chicken tenderloins)
½ c. chicken broth
¾ lb. linguine, cooked
In a blender or food processor, combine ½ c. of the oil, vinegar, garlic, onion, and sugar. Blend well, but do not completely puree.
Add tomatoes and blend a few more seconds. They should still be a little chunky. Add chicken broth to this mixture using a large spoon to stir.
Coat a large skillet with non-stick spray. Turn on heat to medium and add remaining 1 T. oil. Salt and pepper chicken and sauté until browned on both sides, about 3 min. per side. Add ¼ c. of the basil and the tomato mixture. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 5 minutes until chicken is cooked. Remove chicken and slice diagonally; return to skillet. To serve, top cooked linguine with chicken, sauce, and remaining basil (if using fresh) and toss together. Serve with fresh parmesan if desired.