Chicken Bolognese with Rigatoni

This dish calls for a mirepoix, a mixture of diced celery, carrot, and onion. Of course, you can chop these fresh, but I totally cheat and use the pre-chopped mixture from Trader Joe's. If your supermarket carries it and it fits your budget, go ahead and spend the money to save the time.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Ingredients

1 pound ground chicken (white or dark meat, or a mixture of both)

1/2 cup peeled and diced carrot

1/2 cup diced celery

1/2 cup diced yellow onion (about 1/2 medium onion)

1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for the pasta water

1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning

One (24-ounce) jar premade spaghetti sauce (see Cook's Note)

1 pound rigatoni pasta

1 1/2 cups shredded or grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

6 tablespoons ricotta cheese, optional

Chopped fresh basil or Italian flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Directions

  1. In a large, shallow saucepot over medium heat, brown the ground chicken. Add the carrot, celery, and onion and season with the salt and pepper. Continue cooking for 6 minutes, then add the Italian seasoning. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, until the vegetables soften and take on a little color.
  2. Add the sauce to the pot and cook for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  3. Cook the rigatoni according to the package instructions. Add the drained rigatoni to the sauce and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes on medium heat.
  4. Serve the rigatoni and sauce topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano and a sprinkle of basil or parsley. In our family, we've always eaten rigatoni with a scoop of ricotta on the side. If it sounds good to you, add a tablespoon of ricotta to each plate.

Cook’s Note

Instead of using sauce from a jar, make a double batch of sauce and freeze the extra. You can turn the frozen sauce out of the container and right into the pan. You don't even have to bother defrosting.

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