Preparation time: 1 hr
Cooking time: 1 hr
Easy - for beginners
This recipe originally came from foodnetwork.com & was called wicked chicken riggies from Pastabilities, a popular restaurant in Syracuse. I had to alter it as it was too spicy for me and made way too much, but the results of my changes are outstanding.
For the chicken: In a large braiser or saucepot, warm 1/4 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. 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 sautéing the chicken strips and cooking the rigatoni noodles.
When the sauce is nearing doneness, cook the rigatoni noodles according to package directions.
For the chicken sauté, heat a large sauté pan with the remaining olive oil. Add the chicken strips 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.
Add Chicken and Pasta to Tomato Sauce. Mix and serve.