Playing Rachael's Chicken and Vegetable Ragu with Rigatoni

It's Pasta Night! Rach pulls together a hearty rosemary-infused chicken and veggie ragu that's just right for tossing with tubes of rigatoni.

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery with leafy tops, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated or finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped or sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf
  • 1 package ground chicken, 1-1¼ pounds
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • About 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste, or sun-dried tomato paste
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1½ cups passata
  • 1 piece Parm rind, from Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)
  • 1 cup whole milk, or half-and-half
  • 1 pound mezze rigatoni, or other short-cut pasta
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Yield
Serves: 4
Preparation

Heat a large pot of water to boil for pasta.  

Heat a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat with EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. Add the onion, celery, carrot, shallot, garlic, salt, pepper and bay leaf, then stir to soften 10 minutes. Add chicken, season with rosemary, nutmeg, salt and pepper, then lightly brown and crumble the meat and stir in the paste. Stir paste in for 1 minute, then add wine and let it absorb. Add stock, passata, parm rind and milk, reduce heat to low, and simmer a minimum of 30 minutes or up to an hour.  

Cook pasta 1-2 minutes less than package directions in salted water. Reserve ¾ cup water and drain pasta, then combine with sauce and use the water to combine sauce and pasta and keep it loose. Toss pasta with sauce 1-2 minutes with cheese.