This was one delicious pasta meal made with ground chicken this time around. Pretty easy to make and the only special tool I used was an immersion stick blender but a blender will work as well. Easy ingredients and easy prep and came out just perfectly. Most perfect weeknight meal.
1 pound ground chicken
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil plus 2 teaspoons of Oil for cooking the meat
2 Tablespoons Un-Salted Butter
1 Medium yellow onion — small dice
5 Medium Garlic Cloves minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes– use to your own liking — we like a little kick
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Vodka
12 oz. box Rigatoni or Penne
Kosher Salt and Coarse Black Pepper
Fresh Basil for garnish
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese for garnish
Cook the ground chicken in a large saucepan with 2 teaspoons olive oil and italian seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Season with a bit of Salt and Pepper. Cook till crumbly and fully cooked. Remove and set aside in a bowl.
Heat the 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil and butter in the same saucepan over medium high heat . Once the butter has melted, add the onion and cook the onions down stirring frequently, until softened and translucent but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano and crushed red pepper flakes ( 1 Teaspoon ) cook stirring for another minute or so. Add the crushed tomatoes with their juices. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low so the mixture is barely bubbling — a simmer and cook for another 1/2 hour or so. Sauce will thicken and reduce somewhat. Season to taste with Salt and Pepper.
After sauce has cooked for 1/2 hour or so I turn off the heat and add the vodka and cream and then I use my immersion stick blender to blend the sauce till I like the consistency. I blended till completely smooth . You can use the blender just let sauce cool down first and work in batches. I then let sauce simmer for about 10 minutes to cook off the vodka. Taste for Salt and Pepper.
Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta and reserve a cup of pasta water to thin out the sauce — I did because it thickened up a lot. Add the chicken to the sauce. Stir to combine and add water if too thick, stirring frequently. Let it cook for a little bit and then I plated up pasta added sauce and topped with fresh basil and grated cheese .
I froze leftover sauce.
This would probably serve 4 nicely.