Italy holds a special place in my heart, and therefore, so does any kind of Italian food.
It’s always been my favorite type of food, even when I was a little girl. I would constantly demand that my mom would serve me pasta and meatballs. I am pretty sure that she still is sick of all the noodles I made her eat when I was younger.
Despite all this home-cooked goodness, one of my favorite places to get Italian food was at Maggiano’s. I think the best meal I ever had there was when I was about eighteen years old.
Why do I remember this meal so well?
Well, unfortunately, I grew up with an underbite. While the doctors tried basically everything (I was in braces for over a decade) to fix the issue, it seemed there was nothing they could do externally to change it.
Therefore, we turned to surgery.
So, the summer after I graduated high school, my mom and I decided that it would be best to get the surgery taken care of before I went off to college.
The recovery time was supposed to be pretty brutal, including about 6 weeks of a liquid-based diet. I still shudder at remembering those weeks… I don’t think I’ve ever been more sick of smoothies in my entire life.
Yes, I lost some weight, but in the end, that torture of not eating was not worth the weight loss. At least I got a great smile out of it though, right?
So, before I went off to eat basically nothing for 6 weeks, my mom arranged an epic meal at Maggiano’s. We gathered my friends and family, then feasted on as many carbs as we could stuff into our bellies.
It was one of those meals that I loved because everything I remembered from past visits tasted better than it ever had before. It was a meal that I would dream of when I was drinking smoothie after smoothie, and it helped to keep me from losing the will to maintain my liquid diet.
Maggiano’s has this rigatoni recipe on their menu, and this copycat version is pretty spot-on. Now you can get all that Italian deliciousness in your own home.
I know knock-off recipes are not always the best, but this one is oh-so-tasty.
In fact, I dare say it’s better than the one you can get in the famous restaurant (hopefully they won’t read that…). The balance of the rich and creamy flavors in the sauce, along with hearty chicken and mushrooms, is a truly memorable one.
It has one of those cream sauces that’s full of flavor without being too heavy, making this a meal that you can enjoy year-round without feeling too weighed down by it afterwards.
When you serve this dish, if you’re in the mood for a glass of vino, pair it with a bold red, like a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Merlot. During the warmer months, you could also pair it with a crisp, bold white if you want something chilled to cool off with. In this case, I would recommend a bold and oaky Chardonnay for the perfect meal.Print
When you start craving a taste of Italy at home, whip up this simple, rich Rigatoni di Gregorio recipe with chicken and mushrooms.
- 1 pound rigatoni pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium mild onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces sliced button mushrooms
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into 1” pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 1/2 cup Marsala wine
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Cook rigatoni in a large stock pot filled with salted water, according to package directions.
- Drain well in a colander and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Cook 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are golden brown. Remove from heat and transfer to a medium bowl.
- Add chicken to pan and saute until browned on all sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in chicken stock and Marsala wine. Return sauteed vegetables to the pan. Bring to a light boil over medium-high heat and continue cooking until liquid is reduced by 1/3.
- In a small bowl, stir together cornstarch and water until combined. Add to pan and stir to combine. Continue to cook until liquid is thickened.
- Stir in heavy cream. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add rigatoni to pan and stir well to coat pasta with the sauce. Stir in 1 teaspoon chopped parsley, Parmesan cheese, and butter until combined and butter is melted.
- Scoop onto serving plates. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley as desired. Serve immediately.
- Category: Pasta
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Italian, pasta, rigatoni, Maggiano's, chicken, mushrooms
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep Produce and Measure Remaining Ingredients
Peel and finely chop one medium yellow onion. Does this common kitchen task often bring you to tears? Check out our tips!
Peel and mince six cloves of garlic. To make this job a little easier, use a garlic press.
Chop enough parsley leaves until you have about 2 teaspoons total.
Measure out all of the remaining ingredients as they are listed on the ingredients list.
Step 2 – Cook Pasta
Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Cook pasta according to the directions on the package.
Drain the pasta in a colander. Set aside.
Step 3 – Cook Vegetables and Chicken
Transfer the sauteed vegetables from the pan to a medium bowl. Set aside.
Add the chicken to the same pan, and return it to medium-high heat. Continue to cook until the chicken is browned and cooked through, for about 5 minutes.
Step 4 – Make Sauce
Add the chicken stock (learn how to make homemade stock) and Marsala wine to the pan, and stir to combine. Return the mushrooms, garlic, and onion to the pan.
Bring the sauce to a boil and cook until the liquid has reduced by half.
Read more about cooking with wine to get some tasty flavor in even more of your meals!
Stir in the heavy cream until combined. Bring the mixture to a boil again, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Step 5 – Finish Pasta
Add the pasta to the pan and stir well. Make sure the pasta is coated evenly with the sauce.
Stir in 1 teaspoon of parsley, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, and the unsalted butter. Continue to stir until the butter is melted and all of the ingredients are combined well.
Serve pasta with sauce in bowls or on plates. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese and parsley as desired. Serve immediately.
What If I Don’t Have Rigatoni on Hand?
Don’t have rigatoni pasta in the cabinet? If you have all of the other ingredients, that’s no problem! You can easily make this recipe with other types.
I would recommend penne or farfalle, because these noodles take well to being covered in the sauce, and they stand up well to being served with chunks of protein and sliced mushrooms, just like rigatoni does.
For more pasta recipes to gobble up, check out the following:
- Rigatoni with Asparagus and Balsamic Reduction
- Roasted Poblano and Fava Bean Fettuccine
- Hazelnut Pesto Tortellini Pasta
- Cheesy Charred Broccoli Pasta Bake
What kind of wine will you pair with this meal – red or white? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to rate the recipe when you’re tried it as well.
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on November 14, 2010. Last updated: December 28, 2019 at 7:32 am.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.