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Penne Pasta with Chicken Cacciatore Sauce

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Recipe By Aliza Green, author of Making Artisan Pasta

When Chef Green isn’t making fresh pasta, this recipe using dried whole wheat pasta is a quick and nutritious weeknight dinner. If you have your ingredients prepped and your water boiling, the sauce cooks in about the same time as the pasta.

Serves 4 to 6


  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ pound mushrooms, preferably crimini or baby bella, sliced
  • 1½ cups chopped plum tomatoes
  • ¾ pound chicken thigh meat, trimmed of excess fat and cut into thin strips
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 pound penne pasta, preferably whole wheat
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Grated Pecorino or Parmigiano cheese, for sprinkling


    1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.
    2. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.
    3. Add the chicken and sauté until the chicken is mostly opaque, about 3 minutes.
    4. Add the mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms give off their juices, about 3 minutes longer.
    5. Add the tomatoes and cook the sauce until the chicken is firm and cooked through, about 5 minutes.
    6. Add the pasta to the water and cook until the pasta is not quite cooked through and still firm and bouncy in texture and yellow in color, about 8 minutes, stirring often.
    7. Drain the pasta into a colander set inside a pot or a large bowl, reserving some of the cooking water, which will help thicken the sauce.
    8. Toss the pasta with the sauce, the rosemary and parsley, and season to taste. Add about ½ cup of cooking water to thin the sauce and bind it (the cooking water contains starch).
    9. Serve immediately, passing the grated cheese at the table.
Photo by Flicker user @joefoodie / CC BY-NC 2.0

Reminder: The ingredients in a recipe determine if it should be eaten every day, some days, or on special occasions. It's up to you and you doctor to determine what can be part of a healthy diet for you and any special needs you may have.

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Photo by Flicker user mollycakes / CC BY-NC 2.0

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