White Ragu with Rigatoni (Rigatoni al ragu bianco)
Who says Italian meat sauce has to feature beef? My children were delighted to learn it could also be made with ground-up roasted chicken.
This simple "white" ragu sauce is lighter and more delicate than a traditional Bolognese. You can serve it over any pasta -- we made it with rotelle (wagon wheels) instead of the suggested rigatoni.
Heat up any leftovers with extra cream and parmesan.
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to serve
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground turkey, veal, pork or chicken, raw or cooked (I used ground roast chicken)
8 sage leaves, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
12 ounces rigatoni
1/3 cup cream
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Heat oil in pan over medium heat and add onion, garlic and salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add the ground meat and reduce heat. If using raw meat, allow the water to evaporate from it. Once the meat is browned, add half the sage leaves.
Add the wine and allow to reduce for a couple of minutes. Add stock, stir well, reduce the heat and allow to simmer. Adjust the seasoning as necessary.
Meanwhile, put pasta in the boiling water and cook until al dente. After about 5 minutes, add cream to the ragu and simmer gently, stirring frequently. When the pasta is cooked, drain, add to the ragu and toss to combine. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, the remaining sage and a generous sprinkling of parmesan.
-- "The Italian Cooking Course" by Katie Caldesi (Kyle, March 2013, $29.95)
Gretchen McKay: email@example.com, 412-263-1419 or on Twitter @gtmckay. Find a new archive of What's for Dinner recipes at post-gazette.com/food.