Aired October 30, 2008
4 tablespoons EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
Salt and ground black pepper
6 slices bacon
1 pound penne or whole wheat penne pasta
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 avocados, pitted and diced
2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
A few dashes hot sauce
4 to 5 scallions, thinly sliced on a bias
1 cup blue cheese crumbles
1/4 cup (about a handful) fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup (about a handful) flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Preheat an oven to 400F. Place a large pot of salted water over high heat to boil.
Scatter the tomatoes onto a baking sheet and drizzle with about 2 tablespoons EVOO and some salt and pepper. Toss lightly to coat and roast them in the hot oven until they burst open and are tender, 12-15 minutes.
Place the bacon on a broiler pan and transfer to the oven as well. Cook until crispy, about 15 minutes.
While the tomatoes and bacon are in the oven, drop the pasta in the boiling water and cook to al dente according to package directions. When the pasta is ready, reserve a large mug of the starchy cooking water and then drain the pasta and return it to the pot it was cooked in.
While the pasta is cooking, season chicken pieces with salt and ground black pepper. Heat a large skillet with one turn of the pan of EVOO, add the chicken and saut until golden brown and cooked through, about 6 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, scoop the avocado flesh into a small bowl and squeeze the juice of the lemon over it, tossing to coat.
When the chicken is finished cooking, add garlic to the pan, cook for 1 minute, then sprinkle in a few dashes of hot sauce and toss to coat.
In a large serving bowl, mash cooked tomatoes together with scallions, add the pasta water and pasta.
Top with chicken, crumble the cooked bacon over it, and toss with the avocado, blue cheese, basil and parsley.