Chicken Ragu w Rigatoni


•1 lb rigatoni (or other short cut pasta)
•3 tbsp olive oil
•1 1/2 lb. boneless chicken breasts (or thighs), chopped into small bite-sized pieces
•1 medium onion, chopped
•1 carrot, peeled and grated
•4, 5 pieces Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
•1, 2 bay leaf
•1 tsp dried oregano
•2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•1/4 cup Marsala
•1/2 cup white wine
•1 28 oz. jar spaghetti sauce of choice
•1 26 oz. diced tomatoes
•1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated (mandatory!)
•A handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
•1/4 pound pancetta or bacon, diced (optional)


1. In a large skillet or non-stick pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat and brown the chicken pieces on all sides. Cook until slightly browned and any pink spots are removed.
2. Meanwhile, cut the vegetables into desired pieces or use a grater for smaller sizes. Lower the heat and add the basil, onions, carrots, mushrooms, garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the veggies are softened, about 10 minutes.
3.Stir in the bay leaves, tomato sauce, tomato paste, Marsala, white wine, and herbs. Semi-cover with lid and cook on low with a slight bubble for about 30 minutes to infuse all ingredients. Sample the sauce and add salt and pepper according to taste. Discard bay leaves before combining with chicken pieces.
4. Cook the rigatoni according to package directions, but don't forget to add salt to the boiling water. In addition, do not rinse under cold water; drain in colander hot and set aside.
5. After rigatoni pasta and sauce are finished, combine the two and plate. Grate plenty of fresh parmesan cheese and garnish with extra basil leaves. Enjoy!


This was our meal about a week ago when we were craving some Italian food (mostly the kids), and we couldn't have been happier with some recipes that involved ragu sauce. Not exactly knowing what "ragu" meant in Italian (except that is sounds more upscale and authentic), we did a little research on Wikipedia and learned the following: ragu is a meat-based sauce and is characterized as being a sauce of braised or stewed meat that may be flavoured with tomato, to distinguish it from a tomato sauce that is flavoured with the addition of meat. Also, any type of meat (chicken, pork, beef, horse, duck, lamb, you name it) can be used to make a "ragu" sauce, but the amount of tomatoes and its sauce should be limited in quantity relative to the meat. So in theory, our ragu sauce is not really a ragu because the amount of tomato sauce (practically 2 jars) doesn't equal in comparison to our meat, which means next time we just have to add extra meat and a little less tomato sauce (sounds good to us). Regardless, the pasta and sauce were very good; the fresh basil, fresh parmesan cheese, Marsala, and white wine added extra depth and flavors to an already decent sauce. And though I am not particularly fond of parmesan cheese, I can admit that this dish would have been less-than-stellar without it.




Saturday, June 30, 2012 - 9:36pm


Related Cooking Videos