Chicken Parmesan with Arrabiata and Spaghetti Rigati

Chicken Parmesan with Arrabiata and Spaghetti Rigati

“Chicken Parm you taste so good”. I was craving Chicken Parmesan and it is all Peyten Manning’s fault. If you haven’t seen the Nationwide Insurance commercial with Payten Manning, watch it on YouTube or Vine. Basically he goes through his day repeating daily occurrences with the “Nationwide is on your side” theme. At one point he is eating a Chicken Parmesan sandwich. I thought, yum.

This one turned out fantastic. Leftovers will definitely turn into a sandwich. Sure, you can make your own marinara but as I’ve said before, that Mario Batali’s Arrabiata is fantastic (I should be getting some kickbacks here, huh hum… Mario?). I really love the spaghetti rigati. If you don’t know, rigati is just the little lines or ridges along the pasta that help them absorb the sauce (you can see the ridges in the photo above, click to enlarge). My favorite all time pasta is bucatini rigati which is hard to find around here, but has the hole down the center and the ridges.



  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 jar of you favorite marinara (we prefer Mario Batali’s Arrabiata)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan Regianno, plus more for garnish
  • Fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
  • 1/2 package dried spaghetti regati (or you favorite pasta)
  • 2 cups Italian bread crumbs
  • Egg wash (1 egg and milk)
  • Flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • Canola and olive oil
  • Kosher salt

  1. One at a time, place chicken breasts in a zip lock bag and using a mallet or heavy skillet, pound them until thin. Once each breast is to your liking, season with salt and set aside. In the same bag, add bread crumbs, approximately a cup of Parmesan and salt to taste. Meanwhile, in a large dish whisk the egg and milk. Dip the chicken one by one in the egg wash and then into the seasoned bread crumbs. Shake in the bag until completely covered, then set aside.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F and heat a large skillet at medium (or just slightly past medium). Also, bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  3. In the large skillet add enough oil to cover the pan (50/50 canola and olive is my preference). Add the chicken and cook until both sides are golden brown. Place the chicken on a sheet pan with a rack (I line the pan with tin foil so I don’t have to clean the pan later). Top the chicken with 1/3 if the Arrabiata, sprinkle with Parmesan and top that with the sliced mozzarella. Place the in the oven until the cheese is melted. You can also use the broiler to melt the cheese a little faster.
  4. Season the water with salt and cook spaghetti per instructions on the package until al dente. Once done, drain and place back into the same large pot. Let any excess water burn off and toss the pasta with olive oil. A few minutes before serving, toss the remaining Arrabiata sauce in with the pasta and allow it to warm through.
  5. To serve, place serving of spaghetti topped with chicken and garnish with more Parmesan and the parsley. Enjoy.
Chicken Parmesan with Arrabiata and Spaghetti Rigati

Pappardelle with Vegetable “Bolognese”

Pappardelle with Vegetable Bolognese

You don’t miss the meat, seriously. I originally found this in a Bon Appetit magazine (Pappardelle with Vegetable “Bolognese”). I made a few modifications that make this one a keeper.

We love pasta and eat it at least once a week. Usually we use a sauce plus a protein. I love mixing some pancetta into Mario Batali’s Arrabbiata sauce. I occasionally make a meat Bolognese with braised short ribs, and let’s face it, this veggie version can’t sniff that one… but… if you try this, I think you’ll like it.



  • 1 package dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 medium shallots, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Crush red pepper flake to taste
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • 3/4 lb dried pappardelle (or fresh if can find it)
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano

  1. Soak mushrooms in boiling-hot water 15 minutes.
  2. In a food processor pulse carrots, celery, shallots, and bell pepper together until chopped.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Add chopped vegetables, rosemary, salt, and pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are golden brown and tender, about 12 minutes.
  4. Lift mushrooms out of soaking liquid, squeeze excess liquid back into bowl (reserve liquid), and rinse mushrooms well to remove any grit. Finely chop mushrooms, then add to vegetables in skillet along with tomato paste. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine, reserved mushroom soaking liquid and stock, bring to a boil then reduce to simmer. Continue simmering for 15-20 minutes, or until mixture has reduced to become a sauce.
  5. While sauce is cooking, cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water in a heatproof measuring cup, then drain pasta in a colander.
  6. Add pasta, tossing to coat. Stir in cheese and serve.
Pappardelle with Vegetable “Bolognese”

Squid Ink Pasta and Fettuccini Frutti di Mare

squid ink pasta and fettuccini seafood

We love seafood and we love pasta. If you’re like us, then you’ll love this dish.

Inspiration #1. My wife has a thing for bread and pasta. She craves carbs. One of our favorite local Italian restaurants, Giovanni’s (in Greenville, SC) serves this outstanding Frutti di Mare (fruit from the sea or seafood). I wanted to recreate that to some extent.

Why fettuccini and squid ink pasta? So we purchase a package of fresh frozen squid ink pasta from our favorite pasta place, Rio Bertolini’s in Charleston. It had two bundles of the pasta which would have been perfect for the two of us. Unfortunately, during transfer to our home one of the bundles fell out of the bag rendering it un-usable. I replaced the fallen bundle of squid ink with a hand full of fettuccini. What a glorious happenstance. The fettuccini added a different texture, color and weight to the dish. Squid ink pasta can get a little fishy and the fettuccini balanced that right out.

This was a lovely meal; we served it with grilled garlic bread (carb attack). It also heated nicely for left-overs. True confession, the picture above does not have clams, mussels or calamari. I would’ve added them but at the market, they just didn’t look so fresh and I didn’t want to use frozen. When I make this again, I will add the clams and calamari, promise.



  • Fresh, frozen or dried Fettuccini
  • Fresh or frozen squid ink pasta
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (I leave the tails on)
  • 1 large salmon filet, cubed in 1 inch pieces
  • 10-20 clams, mussels or other shell fish depending on size
  • 2-4 scallops, cut in 1 inch cubes
  • 1-2 squid cut in rings, fresh or frozen
  • 1 jar, marinara of your choice, (I always use Mario Batali’s Arrabbiata)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ white onion, diced
  • Crush red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan reggiano cheese, grated
  • Parsley, chopped

  1. In a large pot of boiling and salted water, cook both pastas short of al dente per their instruction. Drain, toss with oil and set aside.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add oil and pepper flakes and toss for a moment. Add onions and cook until tender then add garlic. Cook for another minute. Add salmon and toss once to coat. Cook another minute. Add calamari, shrimp and clams and toss once to coat then deglaze with the white wine. Cook until almost done the seafood is almost done. You may need to remove the salmon, calamari and shrimp to wait for the clams to pop open.
  3. Place the large pot back on medium heat. Add the pasta back in the pot along with the marinara. Add all the seafood (scallops will cook through in the residual heat), toss gentle and keep warm.
  4. To plate, top with freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano and chopped parsley. Buon appetito!
Squid Ink Pasta and Fettuccini Frutti di Mare