When I was growing up, our next-door neighbor Mike had an amazing Italian specialty shop in town called Gracie’s Ravioli, named after his mother. Gracie’s was devoted to selling authentic and delicious Italian ingredients and deli items. In high school, my dad and I used to go there to pick up sandwiches before every Yankees game we went to (which used to be a lot when we were season ticket holders!), and we all loved the shop’s roasted artichokes, delicious panini, and of course, their homemade ravioli.
Although Gracie’s closed a few years ago, Mike still maintains the legacy of his mom and his passion for Italian wine and cuisine through his blog, the eponymous Gracie’s Ravioli. He has tons of great recipes and wine recommendations over there, in addition to a few e-books I mentioned a while back that are definitely worth checking out.
I found this recipe from Mike’s blog that really stood out to me as having the potential to be seriously delizioso. Braised chicken, tomatoes, and mushrooms combine to make a sumptuous almost stew-like sauce that pairs perfectly with al dente pasta. Now the first thing you’ll probably be thinking is- wait a second, the above image clearly does NOT show pappardelle! Alas, our local store did not have any in stock, so we had to go with fettucine- which worked great, but if you want the authentic experience, try and find the pappardelle!
Check out the recipe below, e tutti a tavola a mangiare (did you know I spent a summer studying in Italy during college? Fun fact.)!
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 small can (6 oz) tomato paste
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 large can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- salt and pepper
- ½ lb sliced mushrooms
- fresh parsley (for garnish)
- 1 lb pappardelle pasta
- In a large heavy-bottomed pot (I used a dutch oven), heat the oil over medium-high heat. Pat dry the chicken breasts with a paper towel to eliminate excess moisture, then carefully place in the pot. Allow chicken to brown, then remove to a plate. When cooled, shred with two forks and set aside.
- In the same pot, add the onions and garlic and reduce heat to medium. Allow onions to soften, stirring every so often about 3-5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, wine and water, and stir to combine. Add the canned diced tomatoes, basil, shredded chicken, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir, and bring everything to a boil over high heat.
- Once boiling, cover the pot and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30-45 minutes, then remove cover, add the mushrooms, and continue to cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- While the sauce is cooking, prepare pasta according to the box’s instructions. Ideally, use pappardelle for your base, but if your store doesn’t have that, fettucine or another wide long pasta is great too.
- Serve pasta in bowls and top with the chicken and mushroom sauce. Garnish with parsley and enjoy!
My fiance and I loved this, so much so we went back for seconds (and maybe thirds)… and as a bonus, this definitely makes enough for leftovers!
Happy Eating, and Happy Fourth! What are your plans for the holiday weekend?