Rigatoni is one of Italy’s most popular pasta varieties.
This dish borrows its name from “rigate,” which is Italian for ridged.
Rigatoni is tube-shaped and has ridges running down its length and sometimes around the tube.
The lines and large diameter make it perfect for retaining sauces.
At the same time, the cylindrical shape allows you to easily eat rigatoni with a fork.
Not to be confused with penne.
Though both have grooves, rigatoni is tubular while penne appears pointed.
Similarly, rigatoni has a larger circumference and may curve slightly, unlike penne, which is always straight.
Rigatoni also comes in a smaller version called rigatoncini.
In most cases, rigatoni comes from durum wheat.
However, some manufacturers use buckwheat, kamut, and whole wheat.
Rigatoni pasta is the star of many recipes.
One of them is Rigatoni “D” that David Di Gregorio developed in 1991.
Gregorio was an executive chef at Maggiano’s Little Italy’s first outlet that opened in Chicago at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Clark Street.
· 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
· 2 cups cold chicken broth
· ½ cup Chardonnay
· 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
· ½ tablespoon pepper
· 1 tablespoon pureed garlic
· 1 diced yellow onion
· ½ pound sliced mushrooms
· 1 tablespoon salt
· 1 pound rigatoni
· ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
· ¼ cup olive oil
· 1 pound chicken breast, boneless and skinless
· ¾ cup sweet Marsala wine
· 2 tablespoons cornstarch
· 2 cups heavy whipping cream
· 2 tablespoons chopped basil
· ½ cup Parmesan cheese
The food is ready in around 45 minutes.
However, you can make the dish faster if you prepare ingredients ahead of time.
Moreover, this recipe comprises approximately five servings, making it ideal for family gatherings and special events.
Best of all, this meal is tastybut not too heavy to cause stomach discomfort.
Remember to observe food safety.
For example, wash your hands, utensils, and preparation surfaces thoroughly before cooking.
You should also chop raw chicken on a separate board to prevent the spread of bacteria.
Additionally, handle knives carefully to avoid cuts and protect your fingers from burns by using potholders.
You should also face pot handles away from stove edges to prevent spills and injuries.
Furthermore, place towels, flammable cleaners, and curtains away from cookers to avoid accidents.
You don’t want to deal with fire when you should be enjoying your meal.
You should also wipe spills immediately to prevent falls.
Rigatoni goes well with light side dishes because of its richness.
You can eat it with:
· Roasted green beans
· Tomato sauce
· Zucchini salad
· Stovetop spinach
· Lemon-pepper asparagus
· Cucumber salad
· Garlic broccolini
· Roasted carrots
· Jersey salad
When it comes to recipe variations, you can use penne, spaghetti, or ziti in place of rigatoni or mix different kinds of pasta in your dish.
Moreover, don’t restrict yourself to chicken. You could consider duck, veal, even game birds.
You can also add spinach, tomatoes, and asparagus.
Bacteria thrive at room temperature.
As such, don’t leave your rigatoni leftovers in the open for too long. However, wait for the dish to cool before refrigerating it.
That’s because moisture in the hot pasta creates favorable conditions for mold and bacteria.
You should store your meal in sealed containers before throwing it in the fridge.
This way, you keep out air that may contain contaminants.
Your leftovers can last between 3 and 5 days when properly sealed and refrigerated.
Unlike cooked dry pasta, sauced rigatoni doesn’t get mushy after thawing, making it easy to heat frozen leftovers.
You can bake rigatoni in a heat-safe container for approximately 20 minutes when the oven is 350°F.
Alternatively, warm your food on a pan over medium heat.
You could also throw the leftovers in your microwave, stirring gently until you eliminate cold spots.
Another option is eating it cold from the fridge.
Uncooked rigatoni also lasts longer in sealed packages.
If you open its packaging, transfer the pasta to an airtight bag to keep it fresh.
Remember to check the expiry date to avoid consuming bad pasta.
Rigatoni may be safe to eat after the best by date, but the flavor and texture might change.
Additionally, discard the pasta if it’s discolored or emits an odor.
You can experience food poisoning symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea after eating bad rigatoni.
You may not get it right on the first attempt.
However, you get better after preparing this dish many times.
Feel free to experiment with ingredient portions until you create something you like.
Rigatoni “D” Recipe
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 cups cold chicken broth
- ½ cup Chardonnay
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ tablespoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon pureed garlic
- 1 diced yellow onion
- ½ pound sliced mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 pound rigatoni
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 pound chicken breast boneless and skinless
- ¾ cup sweet Marsala wine
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons chopped basil
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven until 450 degrees and place a rimmed sheet with parchment.
- Mix the onions, garlic, mushrooms, and vinegar on your sheet and bake for 15 minutes. The mushrooms should turn deep brown, leaving no moisture on your sheet. Set this mixture aside. You can prepare the vegetables one day in advance.
- Cook pasta as instructed on the package. Add salt to your cooking water to improve the pasta’s taste. However, avoid using oil at this stage since it prevents your sauce and pasta from mixing. The best time to add olive oil (one tablespoon) is after you cook and drain the pasta. Ensure not to overcook your pasta, lest you collapse its structure and prevent the sauce from penetrating. Likewise, don’t pour cold water on the pasta. Reserve the rigatoni for later.
- Chop the chicken into small strips.
- Heat your butter and the rest of the olive oil in a pan. Add chicken when the butter starts to brown and bubble, and cook it for around five minutes. You may have to prepare your meat in batches to avoid crowding the skillet.
- Add Chardonnay and wait until it evaporates. Pour Marsala wine and reduce it by half before adding your chicken broth mixed with cornstarch. Let it simmer.
- Pour heavy cream, pepper, salt, and the vegetables you baked earlier. Let it thicken.
- Add rigatoni and cook for around two minutes until your sauce covers the pasta.
- Turn off the stove and stir in Parmesan, parsley, and basil. Besides adding flavor, the cheese also thickens your sauce.
- Serve while hot.