Monday, October 13, 2008

Rotini with Chicken and Mushroom Ragu

I made a guest chef appearance at Sunday Dinner this week at my parents' house since I had this recipe starred from Erin's blog and wanted to try it out before too long! I will suggest that you refer back to Erin's pictures since mine are taking on that low-light quality that comes with the darkening autumn evenings. (Don't worry, I am looking at other camera options!)

My mom and I made a few changes to the original recipe. She could not find pappardelle at the store and instead bought a tri-shape rotini mix, which I liked since the sauce really held onto the ridges and curves in the pasta! We opted out of the arugula since we were serving salad with it, but next time I make this I will add it back in. Also, we used an entire pound of pasta and there was STILL sauce left over.
Some advice about the mushrooms - the recipe says to finely chop them in the food processor,

but if you chop them TOO finely, they will virtually disappear in the sauce. So I would go with a coarser chop to begin with and then they will stand out more in the finished dish. Enjoy the nice, hearty sauce with delicious chicken thighs and serve with a green salad and some crusty bread on the side! My changes in italics.
Rotini with Chicken and Mushroom Ragu
Makes 4-6 servings

6 ounces cremini mushrooms (8 ounces baby bellas)
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 teaspoon chopped rosemary
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice
1/2 pound dried pappardelle (one pound rotini)
5 ounces baby arugula (about 8 cups) (omitted)
Pulse mushrooms and garlic in a food processor until finely (coarsely) chopped.

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Season chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until just golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl.

Reduce heat to medium and cook onion, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes.
Add mushroom mixture, rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring constantly, until beginning to brown, about 4 minutes.

Add vinegar and cook until evaporated. Add chicken and tomatoes (with juice), then simmer, breaking up tomatoes with a spoon and stirring occasionally, until sauce is just thickened, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pappardelle in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water) until al dente.

Add arugula to sauce and stir until wilted. Stir in drained pasta and cook 1 minute.


susan said...

oooooh, the last picture has my mouth watering..

Anonymous said...

I LOVE mushrooms! AND pasta! Looks like a winner to me! :)