Friday, January 2, 2015

Yummy Things Come in Small Packages

So there I was, just sitting around minding my own business monitoring my social media accounts when up pops a tweet from Cristy, someone I don’t know, asking if I’d like to try some tomatoes.

I was a bit dumbfounded but I knew just what to do. Jump onto Google and start asking questions:
“what is “try some tomatoes” innuendo for?”
“what does it mean if someone asks you to try their tomatoes?”

Either I stumped Google {{gasp}}, or sometimes a tomato is just a tomato.

But I’m extremely skeptical (to say the least) about people I “meet” online. You never really know if they are who they say they are.

Through some back and forth and me stalking checking out the name she was using (I said EXTREMELY skeptical, right?) with my old friend Google, it seemed that Cristy’s a Media Specialist in Blogger Relations for a PR firm. OK, so what’s the catch . . .

I asked specifically and was assured that if I sent her my name and address, Tuttorosso Tomatoes would send me a kit. Although they’d love for me to post a recipe, there is no expectation.

I do not give out my full name and location. It’s a commitment I made to my kids when I started bitching kvetching writing about them way back when I first started this blog. I’ve also had my blog stalked and my content stolen many times, who knows what someone could do if I started sending out personal information to strangers. But I admit I was intrigued.

It took me 4 days but I finally sent her my name and address . . . and waited for my identity to be stolen, my bank accounts to be cleaned out and credit cards to be opened in my name all over the planet.

And I remained vigilant until two weeks later when I was sitting on my couch and got ding-dong-ditched. You know, someone rings your doorbell, runs, and there’s no one there when you answer.  Well, there was on one there when I answered. There WAS a box, though.

Let me tell you something: good things, in fact yummy things, do come in small packages. In mine there was a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes with basil, a 28 oz can of peeled plum tomatoes, a 28 oz can of tomato sauce, a 6 oz can of tomato paste, an apron, a Martha magazine and a cool carry bag (perfect size for wine bottles, just sayin’).

Tuttorosso Tomatoes gift box |

I did exactly what you know I’d do, logged out of my on-line bank account and headed straight for the kitchen.

I thought and I plotted. I worked and I toiled. I boiled, breaded, sauteed, simmered and baked.

And when night fell . . . behold . . . there was Chicken Pasta Bake. And it was glorious. Yes, even College Boy liked it. He actually had seconds. Can I get an “amen”?’

Chicken Pasta Bake | | #recipe #dinner

I started with pasta. Not only was that going to be the best way to win College Boy over but, well, tomatoes and pasta, duh!

I had bought some thinly sliced chicken breasts on sale that I knew I wanted to use so I breaded them and sauteed them in olive oil.

Chicken Pasta Bake | | #recipe #dinner

I put the chicken on top of the cooked pasta in my baking pan and moved on to the veggies I had in the fridge. For the chicken, then the veggies and finally the sauce, I used the same skillet. When in doubt, always opt for less to clean up.

Chicken Pasta Bake | | #recipe #dinner

For the sauce I chose to use the can of crushed tomatoes with basil and the tomato paste. I kept the other ingredients to a minimum, wanting to let the flavor of the tomatoes shine.

Chicken Pasta Bake | | #recipe #dinner

And they did. This simple chicken, veggie and pasta recipe baked in the tomato sauce was absolutely delicious.

Chicken Pasta Bake | | #recipe #dinner

NOTE: As described in this post, I did receive free product from Tuttorosso Tomatoes. I made sure the gift came with no expectations so the development of this recipe and this resulting post was my choice. The assessment of the product is my honest opinion.

 Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Chicken Pasta Bake
Printable Recipe
16 oz package rigatoni
1 cup cold water
2 ½ # boneless, skinless, thin sliced chicken breast
1 egg, whisked with 2 TBSP cold water
1 – 1 ½ cups seasoned bread crumbs
4 TBSP olive oil, divided
1 medium green pepper, sliced
1 medium red pepper, sliced
8 oz mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 large onion, sliced
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes with basil
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
¼ cup white wine
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp brown sugar
*Spray a large baking dish with no-stick spray. I used a 15 X 10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Cook the rigatoni to al dente. Spread out into the prepared baking dish. Pour a cup of cold water over the pasta. This will help it to steam and keep it moist while baking,
*Cut chicken slices into medallions. Individually dip each one in the egg mixture, then coat completely with bread crumbs.
*Heat 2 TBSP olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat until hot. Place as many chicken pieces in the pan as you can without crowding. Brown the bottom, flip over and brown the other side. Place onto a paper towel, gently pat and put into the prepared pan on top of the rigatoni. Add another TBSP of oil to the pan and repeat with the rest of the chicken pieces.
*In the same skillet, add another TBSP olive oil with the onion, both  peppers, and mushrooms. Cook until the vegetables soften. Place over the chicken in the baking pan.
*In the same skillet heat the ¼ cup of oil. Add the garlic and stir for one minute. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and bring just to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Carefully pour the sauce over the vegetables in the baking pan.
*Cover tightly with heavy foil. Place in the oven and cook for one hour.


  1. Yummykins! I'll be making this for a young houseguest who will be here soon.

  2. I never thought a post about canned tomatoes could be hilarious--not that I ever thought about it--but this was

    Unfortunately you made me incredibly hungry for pasta with tomatoes---looks so great but I'm trying to stay away from regular pasta and whole wheat etc just doesn't have the same magic.

    1. So glad you laughed!

      There's a lot of things I can stay away from, people even, but pasta? Nope, can't do it.

  3. Looks good... Unfortunately, I can't stand cooked tomatoes. I wonder if I could use sauce instead?

  4. Every time I visit here, I come out with a big case of yummm . . .

  5. After a few packages like that, you'll start learning people's names and it'll all be good... just like your dinner! YUM!

  6. Looks yummy! Is this brand available in chain grocery stores are do we have to order the tomatoes online?

    1. I believe that they are in stores, now I need to check to see which stores.

  7. OMG, that looks positively AMAZING! Oh man....and the maters you described.....good God woman. You not only get an Amen, but also a Hallelujah!

    1. Wow, an "amen" AND a "hallelujah". My meals are a religious experience!

  8. Always looking for new chicken recipes, since we have it at least twice a week in my house. This looks yummy and I will be trying it soon!

    1. So glad you're going to try it. Let me know what you think.

  9. Very Cool that they reached out to you. Looks like a great dish. It is amazing how a good canned tomato can make a big difference in taste. I mean all the work why not use the best products available! I know what you mean about being cautious about emails. This Christmas season I had a guy with many emails and I was sure he was a perv, but in the end he was just buying his wife some pjs and he was very cautious about buying on line!

    1. I don't blame him for being cautious, every day I hear about more stores being compromised and websites being hacked. I love the convenience of online shopping but I do hesitate when I have to put in my credit card info.

  10. This is AWESOME!!!! I have got to try it!!! It looks like a very easy way to get The Hubby to eat more chicken!! I've been looking for a recipe just like this!!
    THANK YOU!!!!

    1. It's hearty and substantial too. Hope you all love it.

  11. I would love to be as creative in the kitchen as you! I love how you can take something so common and whip it into something so delicious! I thank you and boy does my family ever thank you haha!

  12. I love the creativity with which you wrote this - and the recipe looks good too!

    1. Thanks, Susan. I had fun writing it and the recipe turned out great!

  13. Yummy! As I can see, my first grader and your college guy like the same things ;-)


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