I know I sent a chicken parm recipe to my e-mail list about two months ago, but I wanted to post it so that others could enjoy it as well. I made this recipe last night with leftover homemade tomato sauce that I defrosted yesterday. Instead of making pasta as a side dish, I cooked spaghetti squash and it was just wonderful.

Spaghetti squash is rediculously easy to make. Cut the squash in half lengthways and scoop the seeds out. Place one half of the squash (cut side up) in the microwave for 15 minutes, scoop out the flesh with your fork, and serve with tomato sauce! I also added some parm cheese and freshly chopped parsley.

If you’re interested in being added to my weekly e-mail list, feel free to e-mail me at hillmanshelpings@gmail.com.

Chicken Parmesan – Serves 2

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking dish (doesn’t matter if it is aluminum or glass) with foil. This will help with clean-up after you eat.

Preheat a large sauté pan at medium-high heat with 1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil.

Coat two boneless, skinless chicken breasts with lightly beaten egg. Then dip the breasts into seasoned breadcrumbs (you can buy any brand at the grocery store).

Add the coated chicken to the heated sauté pan. You don’t want to move the chicken once you lay it in the pan because the coating will come off. Sauté until browned on one side – probably 3 minutes. Don’t worry about cooking the chicken all the way through – the baking will facilitate that.

Flip the chicken over and brown on the other side. Once browned, remove the chicken from the pan and place in your foil-lined baking dish. Coat each chicken breast with a generous amount of tomato sauce. Bake for 25-30 minutes, based on the thickness of the breast.

Note: Because the chicken is covered in sauce, it will stay moist throughout the baking process.

At the last 3 minutes of baking, add a few slices (or a handful of grated) mozzarella cheese to the tops of the chicken. Make sure the cheese is melted before you take it out of the oven.

Bon appetit!

Lauren’s Easy Homemade Tomato Sauce

Open two 28 oz. cans of whole-peeled tomatoes. Pour the cans into a large bowl. With your hands, break up the tomatoes into smaller chunks. (You may want to wear an apron during this part – the tomato juice tends to splatter)

Preheat a large stockpot with 1-2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil. Add 4 cloves of chopped garlic, 1 small chopped onion and 5 shakes of Italian seasoning (or dried thyme & oregano). Sauté this mixture until the onions are slightly translucent. If the garlic starts to brown, add more olive oil.

Add the tomato mixture, ½ cup white wine, two bay leaves, 1 tbs. sugar and 1 tbs. grated parmesan cheese to the pot.

Bring this mixture to a simmer and turn the heat to low. Simmer until the sauce evaporates some and is a bit thickened – 25-30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Eat!

Note: This recipe makes a very chunky tomato sauce. If you like a uniform sauce, use cans of pureed tomato instead of the whole-peeled tomatoes.