Rigatoni with Balsamic Chicken and Artichoke

As a kid Sunday Night Dinner was not just any other meal- it was a special occasion where my family gathered around the table to enjoy a big homecooked supper and discussed their weekends and upcoming weeks.  It’s a fond memory I have and it is a tradition I have carried into my adult home.

Unlike my weeknights, where the goal of almost any dinner is to be quick, cheap, and healthy, Sunday Night Dinner is a moment to indulge; break your diet, amble around the kitchen, and loosen those purse strings!

For me, preparing a large entree falls into one of two categories:  1.) The planned out, uncharted-territory meal,  or  2.) The familiar, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants meal.  This weeks Sunday Night Dinner was the later.  Many of the recipes I create start with a general craving, and this was no exception.  I knew I wanted a light pasta dish with some lean protein, some vegetables, and of course, something a little unexpected.  What I came up with was this delicious Rigatoni with Balsamic Chicken and Artichoke.  Let’s check it out!

 

Rigatoni with Balsamic Chicken and Artichoke
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Skinless, Boneless, Chicken Breast
  • 1 lb Rigatoni Pasta
  • 2 cans Artichoke Hearts (16 oz each, in water, not oil)
  • 1 large Yellow Onion
  • 4 oz Sundried Tomatoes (fresh, preferrably)
  • 3 oz Hard Salami
  • 5 tbsps Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Garlic (crushed or minced)
  • 2 tbsps EVOO
  • ¼ cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 fresh Lemon
  • 3 oz Pecorino Cheese
  • Sea Salt, Coarse Blackpepper, Basil, & Red Pepper Flakes to season
Instructions
  1. In Blender or Food Processor, blend 1 can of artichoke hearts with 1 tsp Garlic and 3 tbsps Balsamic Vinegar until liquefied (some small pieces will remain- that's okay!). Pour sauce over lightly salted/peppered Chicken Breasts and marinade in refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
  2. When you are ready to start cooking, begin by boiling a large pot of salted water (~4 - 6 cups). Once boil is reached, add 1 lb of Rigatoni. Set aside and allow pasta to cook on medium-low heat until al dente.
  3. In separate frying pan, saute diced yellow onion in 1 tbsp EVOO over medium heat. Remove chicken from refrigerator and separate breasts from marinade, discarding the left-over sauce. As onions become translucent, add chicken to pan and allow to cook slowly over medium-low heat, seasoning as needed with a few dashes of Basil and a dash of Red Pepper Flakes. While chicken cooks remove ¾ of artichoke hearts from remaining can and dice into medium sized pieces before drizziling with fresh squeezed lemon (~ 3 tbsps worth). Next, chop salami and sundried tomatoes as desired, typically into nickel-sized pieces.
  4. With the remaining ingredients prepped, check the chickens progress. When 90% cooked, remove breasts from pan and cut into smaller cubes- about an inch wide and an inch thick- before returning back to pan. Next add artichokes, salami, and sundried tomatoes, along with 1 tbsp EVOO, 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar, ¼ cup of white wine, and a delicate handful of shaved Pecorino cheese. Allow ingredients to simmer on very low heat until pasta is ready. Once al dente, add pasta into pan, stirring thoroughly until well mixed. As all ingredients reach desired texture (5-10 min), remove from pan and serve immediately, sprinkling with Pecorino once plated.
Notes
>> If you only have a few hours to marinate, take a large cutting knife and make 3-4 shallow cuts into each breast, about one inch in length each, then combine with sauce. The cuts will help the marinade penetrate the chicken faster and will produce tender results in half the time.

 

 

 

the finished product: buon appetito !

 

 

#delizioso

 

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