Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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Hearty Ragu With Rigatoni

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A great pasta dish starts with a hearty ragu. I like to choose a style of pasta I know is going to work well with the type of sauce I’m making. Rigatoni will be perfect. This is my Heary Ragu With Rigatoni.

Olive Oil

Cheese

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Roasted Red Peppers

Piquillo Peppers (2)

Piquillo Peppers (1)

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Fennel

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Sweet Basil (2)

fresh basil

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 37 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 52 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 2 (6-quart) saucepots, 10-cup food processor, rondeau (deep-sided braising/frying pan)

Ingredients:
1 pound of ground chicken (substitute ground turkey)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion, quartered
1 large carrot peeled and chopped into thirds
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup of pinenuts
1 (12-ounce) jar of roasted Piquillo peppers
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 cup of chicken broth, low sodium
1 (28-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
2 tablespoons of fennel seeds
1 1/2 cups of Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly ground
1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves, julienned

Directions:
Process the Pecorino Romano cheese. Transfer to a container set aside.

Start the *sofrito.
Prepare the vegetables for the food processor. Next, process the onion, carrot, and garlic cloves until finely minced then transfer to a medium-size bowl. Finally, process the almonds and roasted Piquillo peppers together until puréed. Add the Piquillo pepper purée to the same bowl, stir to combine. Set aside.

In a large deep-sided pan (rondeau) over medium-high heat add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, ground chicken, fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Cook, breaking the meat up with the back of a wooden spoon, stirring frequently until chicken is fully cooked and brown in color, about 12 to 15 minutes.

In a large saucepot over medium heat add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the prepared *sofrito, dried oregano, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, stir to combine. Stirring frequently, cook for 2 to 3 minutes before adding the chicken broth, cook allowing the liquid to reduce by half, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and brown sugar, stir to combine.

Next, add the cooked ground chicken to the pot, stir to combine. Bring up to a bubble reduce to medium-low heat, simmer for 1-hour stirring occasionally.

After 1 hour, have a large pot of salted boiling water on the stove ready to go. Drop the pasta. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes until al dente. Using a colander spoon (or a colander, drain first) transfer pasta to the pot containing the ragu. Gently stir to combine.

Remove from the heat, add fresh basil, and grated Pecorino Romano cheese.

To serve, ladle a good helping of my Hearty Ragu With Rigatoni into a porcelain bowl. Grate more Pecorino Romano over the top.

*Sofrito: A fragrant blend of vegetables, herbs, and spices used to season countless dishes, such as stews, beans, rice, and sauces.

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