Chicken thighs make this taste more 'meaty' than white breast meat, which makes it quite satisfying. I also like that it called for crimini mushrooms instead of regular white button mushrooms; again, very satisfying. I added artichoke heart quarters to this dish, because I had them in the freezer from Trader Joe's. They're frozen like regular veggies and not marinated in oil, so they don't taste too heavy. Artichokes were a perfect addition to this dish. I really loved the pappardelle, too. It was wide, which made it very easy to scoop the perfect sauce to pasta ratio onto the fork. I think Pappardelle would be one of the easier pastas to make by hand, too, and I would love to sometime try to make it from scratch.
I just ate the leftovers of this pasta for lunch, and I would have to say that it was one of the best pastas I've ever made. Seriously, delicious. I picked out this recipe from epicurious.com earlier this week when I'd had a crazy day at work and just wanted to go home and cook something fun for dinner. I am a huge mushroom lover, and eat chicken more than any other meat, so this recipe jumped out of the "quick and easy recipes" list as a perfect pasta dish. I was intrigued by the pappardelle, because it's a type of pasta I've heard of but never actually tried. The picture on epicurious sealed the deal; a stop at Whole Foods on the way to the train, and this pasta would be tonight's dinner.
The recipe is easy, satisfying, and quick to make. With a nice salad and tasty bread, this could make a great pasta meal to serve friends. And the flavors were perfect for fall, with the cooler weather we've been experiencing lately. This is from the October issue of Gourmet, so you might even be able to find it on the news stand still, if you hurry!
Pappardelle with Chicken and Mushroom Ragù
from epicurious.com and October 2008 Gourmet Magazine
6 ounces cremini mushrooms
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 teaspoon chopped rosemary
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice
1/2 pound dried pappardelle
5 ounces baby arugula (about 8 cups)
Pulse mushrooms and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped.
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Season chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until just golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl.
Reduce heat to medium and cook onion, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes.
Add mushroom mixture, rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring constantly, until beginning to brown, about 4 minutes.
Add vinegar and cook until evaporated. Add chicken and tomatoes (with juice), then simmer, breaking up tomatoes with a spoon and stirring occasionally, until sauce is just thickened, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook pappardelle in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water) until al dente.
Add arugula to sauce and stir until wilted. Stir in drained pasta and cook 1 minute.