1 teaspoon salt
1 package (16 ounces) linguine
1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves or thighs
2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced, about 2 teaspoons
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes, or 5 fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and puréed
Grated cheese (Parmesan, Romano or Asiago)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and linguine and cook until tender but still firm - undercook noodles just a tad so they can absorb the extra juice from the tomatoes. Drain well.
Meanwhile, slice chicken breast halves lengthwise, then crosswise, to make 1-inch chunks.
Heat olive oil in a wide skillet over high heat for one minute, then add garlic, red pepper flakes and mushrooms. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook mushrooms for three minutes, or until they begin to brown, stirring occasionally. Add chicken and cook three minutes more, stirring. Add tomatoes and simmer to thicken slightly.
Spoon a little sauce into the linguine and stir to coat. Serve linguine with chicken sauce on top. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
Serve with a salad with vinegar-and-oil dressing and garlic bread.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Tip: To peel fresh tomatoes, dip them into boiling water for 30 seconds. When they are cool enough to handle, cut out their cores and slip off their skins. To seed them, cut them in half horizontally and scoop out the little seed packs with a finger.