Breaking Bread with Rigatoni and Poached Chicken


On April 21st., one of my best friends past away. Experiencing another loss brought up a lot of sad feelings. I was very lucky to have such a great friend: unconditional love – an angel in disguise. After the service yesterday, I prepared a nice meal to honor Barbara as we broke bread amongst some friends. This was one of Barbara’s favorite dishes that I would prepare – here’s to you Barbara!

Rigatoni with poached chicken breasts in tangy tomatoe sauce with a hint of pesto

This is a very simple dish and having a pantry stocked with some of my essentials makes it very easy to prepare in no time. We were drinking some wine while I prepared this tasty dish:

I just added layers and ended up with this delicous feast:

Serves 4-6

Poached Chicken Breasts:
4-6 chicken breasts
2 eggs
1 cup bread crumbs (plain unseasoned)
salt and pepper
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil/1 tbsp. butter
pinch of red chili flakes
2 tbsp. pesto
1 tbsp. capers
1 cup white wine
28 oz can of tomatoe sauce(crushed)
freshly grated parmigiano cheese

In a small bowl, beat the eggs. Add salt and black pepper to the breasts and coat the breasts in the egg wash. In a separate bowl, add the bread crumbs and coat the breasts.

In a large pan, add olive oil and butter to medium-high heat. Add the breasts and turn each side after three minutes – will form a nice golden crust.

Add a 28 oz can of tomatoes, 2 tbsp. of pesto (I keep them in ice cubes in the freezer), a dash of red chili flakes, 1 tbsp. capers and 1 cup of white wine. ps – If you are drinking red wine, then add red wine or your favorite. Place the lid over the pan and turn heat to medium. The chicken will cook evenly and the steaming process will keep the meat moist…..Stir occassionly and turn the chicken. Approx. 20 minutes in cooking and then ready to serve.

In a large pot, cook the pasta according to the package instruction until it is al dente (approx. 8 minutes).

Remove the chicken breasts and serve in a large platter. At the same time, drain the pasta, 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water and add to the tomatoe sauce. Add freshly grated Parmigiano cheese (approx. handful). Place pasta in bowl and serve immediately.

I garnished the table with grilled pieces of bread, roasted peppers, olives and vino!

Now that’s a feast!

2 comments to Breaking Bread with Rigatoni and Poached Chicken

  • DJHogeland

    I’m so sorry about your friend, but you have given her a beautiful tribute with your inspired cooking. My heart goes out to you.
    I just watched your excellent interview with OMNI in Italian. Congratulations on your book release! I will be ordering a copy.

  • Monet

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my father-in-law a few months ago, and I also have made a meal in his honor. What a beautiful tribute to your friend.

Leave a Reply