By Nancy Caivano
1 lb pasta (I prefer rigatoni with this dish, but any shape pasta will work)
2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5 tbsp olive oil, divided
All purpose flour
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic chopped (or 1 tbsp jar chopped garlic)
2 lb plum tomatoes, chopped (or 2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes)
3 tbsp basil, julienne (or 1 tsp dry)
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup ricotta
1/2 cup grated fontina cheese
1 cup grated pecorino romano cheese (or parmesan)
1/2 cup gorgonzola, crumbled
1/4 cup chopped parsley (or 2 tbsp dry)
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water until al dente; drain.
Meanwhile, season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess. Sauté until well browned and cooked through. Drain on paper towels. When cool enough to handle, cut into slices.
In the same skillet, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent and garlic begins to brown. Add tomatoes, stirring constantly. Lower heat and bring to a simmer. Add basil and simmer 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add chicken to skillet and cook 5 minutes more. Remove from heat.
In a small saucepan, whisk cream and ricotta together. Place on stove over medium heat. Add remaining cheeses and cook, stirring until all cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper, add parsley, and remove from heat.
Return drained pasta to pot. Add contents of skillet and combine. Add cheese sauce and toss very well to combine. Serve immediately, with extra grated romano or parmesan.
Note: You can substitute milk, half-and-half or evaporated skim milk for the cream. You can also use low or non fat cheeses - though I recommend using low fat instead of non fat, as the low fat cheese melts better.
This page created October 1998
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