About a year ago I discovered a (new to me) fresh stuffed pasta in the grocery store refrigerator case.
Although it was labeled Borcelli, I believe it's proper Italian name is Fagotinni. Such cute tiny little bundles with a ruffled top! Uncooked the filling pouch is about the size of a garbanzo (ceci, cici, or chickpea) bean, expanding slightly when cooked.
I prepared them using an old favorite standby sauce, but they would be equally delicious dressed with pesto, or simply served in a flavorful broth. If you can find this pasta, I think you may enjoy it.
Whether you use the Fagotinni or not, here's a favorite recipe I've made time and time again; you can serve it with almost any shaped pasta, and it is particularly good with penne rigate.
2 cups uncooked pasta
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 to 3 chicken half breasts boneless, cubed or cut into strips, and seasoned lightly with salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced and additional for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup pancetta diced
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Fresh basil chiffonade
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning or 1 teaspoon dried basil
1 to 4 cloves Garlic (to your taste)
2 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
the chicken broth
the heavy cream
2 tablespoon fresh parsley finely chopped
While pasta is cooking according to package directions, prepare the meat and sauce.
To cook the meat:
Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and pancetta (or bacon). After 2 minutes, add chicken breasts and increase heat to medium-high. (Don't crowd the chicken, cook in two batches if necessary). Add crushed red pepper, if using.
Cook until chicken is fully cooked and surface is browned in places. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a large bowl.
Make the sauce:
Saute the garlic in the same skillet used for the meat. Move the garlic to one side of the skillet, add the flour to the pan and mix with the pan drippings to form a paste, cooking for a minute or two. Reduce heat to medium and deglaze the skillet with chicken broth. Add black pepper, nutmeg, (and Italian seasoning if using.) Bring to boil, stir in the cream, then reduce heat to medium-low. Reduce sauce slightly, stirring as necessary, it should be fairly thin so it will coat all of the pasta. Stir in the minced fresh parsley (and fresh basil if using).
Toss pasta, vegetables, meat and sauce until evenly coated. Transfer to a serving bowl. Top with grated parmesean and additional chopped fresh parsley, if desired.
You can keep out a little of the chicken and pancetta (unsauced) to sprinkle over the finished dish if you like.
* Thick sliced bacon, diced, can be substituted for pancetta. Or finely diced, cooked ham.
* Large shrimp can be substituted for the chicken, follow the directions for cooking the chicken but cook shrimp until it is just barely done, then proceed.
Add any of the following~
Saute fresh green peppers with garlic
Sliced green onions (scallions) can be tossed in at the last moment
1 cup or so of of lightly cooked fresh (or frozen) vegetables can be added
Although you can add vegetables to the pasta sauce, (frozen petite peas are really good), this time I served the veg on the side; broccoli rabe lightly steamed, then quickly sauteed in olive oil & garlic.