For the hot sauce: In a blender, carefully blenderize the chipotle peppers, serrano chiles and pepper oil. This stuff is hot! Be careful with splatter! Reserve.
For the chicken: In a large braiser or saucepot, warm 3/4 cup of the olive oil over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onions, garlic, basil, oregano, salt, black pepper, cayenne and red pepper flakes. Stir well and cook until the onions are translucent.
Stir the fresh chopped bell peppers into the onion mixture. Stir to coat. Add the reserved hot sauce. Continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato sauce, heavy cream, Romano and sugar. Whisk well!
Lower the heat until the sauce slightly bubbles, and stir well. Turn the heat to low or off while sauteing the chicken strips and cooking the rigatoni noodles.
When the sauce is nearing doneness, cook the rigatoni noodles according to package directions. I like to pre-cook my pasta for sauteed pasta dishes such as this. Pre-cooking rigatoni to near doneness, straining and holding at room temperature, or completely chilling down if holding for several hours or more and then dunking in hot, boiling water prior to sauteing works well.
For the chicken saute, heat a large saute pan with the remaining olive oil. First, sprinkle the chicken strips with 1 teaspoon salt (more or less), and add to the hot olive oil, one layer at a time. Do not overcrowd the pan. Cook in batches if necessary. Add a dash of black pepper if desired. Flip and shake the chicken pieces around in the hot pan to sear all sides. Cook until opaque and lightly brown, about 4 minutes. Set aside.
Toss the tomato sauce and chicken in a large bowl in half-batches, or altogether. Pour onto a serving platter or individual pasta bowls. Garnish with locatelli cheese and reserved fresh scallions.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy Pasta's Kitchen Team, Pastabilities