Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • ¼ pound meaty pancetta or prosciutto di Parma end cuts, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 large bunch flat kale, lacinato, or escarole, chopped or sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • A little freshly grated nutmeg, about ⅛ teaspoon
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • About ⅓ cup sliced Italian cherry peppers, chopped and a few tablespoons of juice
  • One 28-ounce can Italian tomatoes
  • 1 rotisserie chicken
  • A few leaves of basil, torn
  • 1 pound rigatoni
For the breadcrumb topping:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 ¼ cups homemade breadcrumbs or panko
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano or 1 tablespoons freshly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley or 1 tablespoon freshly chopped
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano or a combination of the two
Yield
Serves: 6
Preparation

Heat a pot of salted water to boil for rigatoni.

Heat a large deep skillet over medium-high heat, add EVOO, 3 turns of the pan, add pancetta or prosciutto and stir a minute or 2, add garlic and stir a minute, add greens to wilt and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add stock and cherry peppers and brine, bring to a bubble, then stir in tomatoes, break them up, and simmer 20 minutes to break the tomatoes down.  

Meanwhile, remove skin from chicken and pull meat into small pieces. Add basil and chicken to sauce.

For the breadcrumb topping, in another skillet over medium to medium-high heat, melt butter into oil and add garlic, swirl a minute, then add breadcrumbs, toast to golden. Remove breadcrumbs from heat and toss with herbs and cool, then toss cool crumbs with cheese.  

Cook pasta to 1 minute less than package directions for al dente. Reserve about ¾ cup salty water and drain pasta. Toss rigatoni with chicken and greens and add the water as necessary to keep the pasta moist. Serve the rigatoni in shallow bowls topped with breadcrumb topping.