Quick tomato sauce:
1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon sugar
salt to taste
For the chicken and spaghetti:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 8-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
salt and pepper, to taste
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 ounces whole-milk fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves
4 ounces uncooked spaghetti
First, make the sauce: pulse the tomatoes in a food processor until coarsely ground, 6-8 pulses. Next, saute the garlic in the 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium skillet until fragrant but not burned, about 2 minutes over medium heat. Stir in the tomatoes, then bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, until slightly thickened. Off heat, stir in the basil, sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Cover to keep warm.
For the chicken and spaghetti: adjust an oven rack to be 4 inches from the broiling element. Turn the broiler to high.
Spread the flour in a shallow dish. Beat the egg in a second shallow dish. Combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan in a third shallow dish. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Dredge each chicken breaset in the flour, then egg, then bread crumbs.
Heat the oil in a 10″ large skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Gently lay the chicken in the oil, and cook until golden brown on each side and the chicken registers 160 degrees (about 4-6 minutes per side). Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet.
Divide the cheese over the chicken, and broil until the cheese melts. Serve with the tomato sauce.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in ample boiling water, and toss with tomato sauce before serving on the side.