1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs left whole (OK to substitute breasts)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons fine flour, such as Wondra
2 teaspoons corn starch
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 ½ cups sliced onion (about one medium onion)
1 ½ tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
2 medium fresh tomatoes diced (1 cup), see note*
1 28-ounce can kitchen ready tomatoes (pureed or crushed)
1 16-ounce box Cellantani pasta (or your favorite pasta)
¼ pound fresh baby spinach
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 quart chicken stock
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup fresh basil, chopped
Up to 2 cups of water as needed
Coat both sides of the chicken with the salt and pepper. Mix the flour and corn starch and using a fine mesh strainer, sift over both sides of the chicken.
Heat a large Dutch oven to medium high and add half the olive oil. Once hot and shimmering, add chicken and sear on both sides, about 4-5 minutes on each side. Remove to a cutting board and let rest.
Keep the heat on medium high and add the remaining oil. Once hot, add the onions and sauté for three minutes then add the garlic.
Sauté the garlic for one minute then add the fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes, dry pasta, spinach, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and chicken stock.
Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and add to pot.
Bring to a boil covered. Lower to a simmer and cook 10-15 minutes or until pasta is tender. Check half way through and if it looks like it may need more liquid, add up to two cups of water. Some pasta shapes take longer to cook than others and need more liquid. We did not use any additional water however added water the next day to reheat.
Once cooked, remove from heat, stir in Parmesan and basil and serve.
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*Note on preparing the fresh tomatoes: Remove core and cut tomatoes in half. Place a strainer over a bowl and scrape seeds into strainer. Use a spoon and press and rub the seeds to extract the liquid. Chop the tomatoes and add to the liquid and discard the seeds.