Penne Pasta with Chicken Cacciatore Sauce
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.