Breaded chicken parmigiana is quickly regaining its nostalgic magic and has stirred up real excitement as a sexy date-night option. Whether you’re whipping up this easy and soul-satisfying dish for a family or planning for an intimate weeknight meal, the main course’s classic old-world Italian flavours and simplicity will quickly make its way into your dinner rotation.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange three plates or pie plates on work surface. Fill one with flour and season with salt and pepper. Fill other plate with egg whisked with 2 tsp water and season with salt and pepper, and the last plate with panko and ½ cup of the Parmesan cheese.
Dip chicken cutlet into flour mixture, turning to coat; shake off excess. Dip into egg mixture, shaking off excess then into panko mixture, turning and pressing to coat. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining chicken.
Heat 2 Tbsp of the oil in large heat-proof skillet over medium heat; cook two pieces chicken, turning once, until browned, about four minutes. Transfer to baking sheet. Wipe skillet clean with paper towel and repeat with 2 Tbsp oil and remaining chicken pieces. Wipe skillet.
Heat remaining 2 Tbsp oil in skillet over medium heat; add garlic and hot pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Add passata, ⅓ cup water, 6 basil leaves and cook for 2 minutes. Nestle in chicken pieces to fit and spoon some of the sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup Parmesan and top with mozzarella.
Bake in oven until cheese is melted and bubbling and chicken is no longer pink inside, 6 to 8 minutes. Garnish with remaining basil (if desired). Meanwhile, in saucepan of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and return to pot. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and serve with chicken if desired. Alternatively, you can enjoy on a toasted sub roll or Kaiser bun topped with hot pickled peppers.