Chicken Rollatini with Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce
Are you incredibly busy and important? Do you need a simple and impressive recipe to throw grown-up dinner parties during the week? Are you hoping to eventually land a husband or wife? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you need Chicken Rollatini with Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce:
Let’s back up a little, shall we? A few weeks ago, I received the following email from my friend Annie asking for my help:
Do you think a theme for a post some time could be inspired by things you can prep or start to make in advance (ie the night before)? As you know, I am a very busy career woman who spends most of her day in her office listening to the “Nashville” soundtrack and gossiping with her mother on speakerphone. This prevents me from being able to do a lot of prep work at the end of the day. So, when I want to have weeknight dinner parties, it would be nice to have some tricks up my sleeve that can be prepared somewhat in advance.
If you don’t give me these recipes I will have to resort to Rachel Ray’s 30 Minute Meals, and I do not think that will be a way for me to hook a husband. Okay? Thank you. I imagine it is hard to come up with topical themes and this is actually a pain point in my life! I mean, I LOVE Barefoot Contessa, but when I watch her and she’s all in a tizzy because “I have only 8 hours before Jeffrey comes home and I have so much to do!!!” I can’t really get behind her timeline.
I appreciated this email for many reasons, primarily because it exposes the struggles that so many of us face at this stage of our lives. Being a young career woman is hard, especially in Annie’s case. The Nashville soundtrack is very emotional and talking to one’s mother can be exhausting. Throw a couple of meetings and lunch into the mix, and it seems like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to prepare a fabulous dinner party. That brings us to the million-dollar question: Is it really possible to be both a ball-busting working guy/gal and Ina Garten at the same time?
The answer, obviously, is YES. It is possible to balance a career and life as a domestic god/goddess. All you need is a little planning, a can-do attitude, and a healthy fear of being alone for the rest of your life! Part of the fun of being an “adult” is entertaining your family and friends in the comfort of your own home.* It’s time to grow up and get cooking, people. This Chicken Rollatini with Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce is a delicious (and realistic) place to start:
Do not be intimidated by the name “rollatini.” If you’re wondering what “rollatini” means, it’s just the fancy Italian word Google gave me when I typed in “what do you call chicken breasts rolled up with other stuff inside?” Luckily, chicken rollatini looks just as fancy as it sounds, and it tastes even better. Thinly sliced chicken breast stuffed with melted mozzarella cheese and basil, wrapped in prosciutto and smothered in a roasted red pepper tomato sauce? Pure, unadulterated genius…
This is the perfect dinner party meal for busy girls and boys. Prepare the sauce and the rollatinis the night before and keep them in the fridge. All you have to do is pop them in the oven before your guests arrive, re-heat the roasted red pepper tomato sauce, and you’re good to go. Hopefully, this is a timeline you can get behind. I like to serve these with a simple arugula salad, but you could also try them over ratatouille, roasted vegetables, or spaghetti if you’re looking for a heartier meal.
Once you familiarize yourself with the “rollatini” technique, feel free to get creative with your fillings. Try a trio of goat cheese, pesto, and sundried tomatoes for an even more gourmet spin, or go simple with Genoa salami and provolone. While Chicken Rollatini with Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce is the perfect “impress your guests” feast, it’s still simple enough for an anytime meal. If nothing else, making chicken rollatini will keep you from eating tater tots for multiple meals, which Annie also admitted to recently. Balancing cooking and a career has never been easier. You’re welcome.
*I use the word “home” loosely. Yes, your studio apartment counts.
Chicken Rollatini with Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce: (Makes 8 Rollatini)
Preparing your Chicken Rollatini:
-Place 1 piece of prosciutto flat on a cutting board.
-Place a thin sliced chicken breast on top of the prosciutto. (If you’re really into prosciutto, feel free to add another slice on top of the chicken breast.)
-Put 2 basil leaves flat on top of the chicken breast.
-Slice the fresh mozzarella into approximately ¼ inch slices. Cut each slice in half. Lay the two halves on top of the basil approximately ½ an inch apart.
-Gently roll up the rollatini and place seam-side down in a baking dish. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts. Don’t worry, it’s quick and surprisingly fun.
-Drizzle your rollatinis with 2 tbsp olive oil. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
Preparing your Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce:
*Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
-Place the whole red bell pepper on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.
-When roasted, remove the pepper from the oven, place in a bowl and cover loosely with foil. Allow the pepper to cool for about 20 minutes, then remove the skin and seeds, and coarsely chop the flesh.
-In a large saucepan, sauté the minced garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil for about 2 minutes until softened and fragrant. Add the crushed fire roasted tomatoes, chopped roasted red bell pepper, and ½ tsp crushed red pepper. Simmer for ten minutes to allow the flavors to combine.
-Pour the sauce in to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Salt to taste.
*Serve your chicken rollatini hot with roasted tomato sauce. Take a bow.
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