Pollo alla Pizzaiola

Preparing a dish in the “pizzaiola” style refers to pizza-makers in Naples, Italy, who would sometimes toss poultry, pork, steak or fish into their pizza-style marinara sauce to cook on the stovetop. Here, we use chicken breasts, browning them first in a bit of oil, then submerging them in a tomato-and-herb sauce to cook. Served beside our Cheese Tortellini, it’s a nourishing dish that works just as well on a busy weeknight table as at a dinner party.


  •  2 tablespoons olive oil
  •  4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  •  salt and ground black pepper
  •  15oz can crushed tomatoes
  •  6 tablespoons water
  •  1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  •  1/8 teaspoon chile flakes, optional
  •  2 tablespoons Armanino Creamy Garlic Sauce
  •  1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil + more for garnish
  •  4-8 thin slices fresh mozzarella cheese
  •  1lb Armanino Cheese Tortellini
  •  grated parmesan for serving


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the tortellini 3-5 minutes until tender. Drain, toss in a little olive oil and set aside.
  2. Trim the chicken breasts of any extra fat if necessary and season on both sides with a pinch each of salt and pepper.
  3. In a lidded frying pan large enough to hold 4 chicken breasts in a single layer, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  4. Cook the chicken until lightly brown on both sides (about 3 minutes on each side). Do not fully cook. Turn off the heat and transfer the chicken to a plate.
  5. Pour the water into the pan and scrap up all the browned bits from the bottom. Add the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, 1/8 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and the chile flakes (if using).
  6. Bring to a boil on high heat then reduce heat to low and gently simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  7. Stir in the creamy garlic sauce and the chopped basil. Nestle the chicken back in the pan.
  8. Increase the heat to medium, cover the pan and cook for 7-8 minutes, turning the breasts halfway through and giving a stir, until the chicken is cooked through.
  9. Turn the chicken right side up if needed, spoon a little sauce on each piece and top with 1-2 mozzarella slices.
  10. Turn the heat to low, cover the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until the cheese melts.
  11. Serve immediately with the tortellini, garnished with grated parmesan and fresh basil.

Chef’s Tips

  • If you don’t have a lid large enough to fit your pan, use a large piece of foil.
  • If your chicken breasts are very large and thick, pound the thicker parts with a meat mallet or a heavy can to an even thickness.
  • For a nice adaption, after you brown the chicken, sauté a few thinly sliced peppers and onions and continue with the recipe. The sauce will be chunkier and heartier.
40 servings
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes

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