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Chicken Ragu


  • Salt

  • 1 pound whole wheat or whole grain rigatoni or other short-cut pasta

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1/4 pound pancetta (a couple thick slices), cut into fine dice

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs, chopped into small, bite-size pieces

  • 1 medium to large onion, chopped

  • 1 carrot, peeled

  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • Black pepper

  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine, a couple glugs

  • 1 can San Marzano tomatoes (28 ounces)

  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

  • A handful of fresh basil leaves, torn


Heat a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water when it boils and cook the pasta to al dente.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO over medium-high heat. Brown the pancetta for 3-4 minutes, then add another tablespoon of EVOO. Add the chicken and brown evenly for 5-6 minutes. Add the onion, rosemary, bay leaf and garlic, season with salt and pepper, then grate the carrot with a box grater directly into the pan and stir in. Cook until the vegetables are soft, 5-6 minutes.

Add the Marsala to the chicken and vegetables, stir and reduce for a minute, then add the tomatoes and crush them with a wooden spoon. Simmer for a few minutes to thicken the sauce and combine the flavors.

Drain the pasta and toss with the chicken ragu and cheese. Discard the bay leaf. Garnish with some torn basil. Serve immediately.