Yes ~ another tomato recipe! And why not, when I have gorgeous, ripe tomatoes fresh from the vine begging for a venue to be showcased?
I’ve been researching online for inspiration and a direction or two on using fresh tomatoes in a sauce. Mostly I found that one should score the tops of the tomatoes, blanch them in boiling water, then dip in iced water to stop the cooking process, remove the skins and chop before adding to the sauce.
This all sounds fine. However, the night I concocted the recipe I’m sharing here, I ran out of time (and admittedly felt a bit lazy about that whole blanching, peeling thing), so I decided simply to chop the tomatoes and make a rustic, ragù-ish sauce.
Classically, ragù is made by slowly cooking meat in broth, tomato paste, wine, and aromatic vegetables until everything melds into chunky, saucy deliciousness and then, most often, served with pasta.
In my version, the tomatoes and their beautiful juices mix with the pan juice from the chicken to create the broth. The tomatoes cook down into a thick sauce while the meat simmers to fork-tenderness in the process. I added mushrooms and artichokes for chunkiness … and also because I love their flavor … and used a bit of Alfredo sauce (or you could use a touch of cream) only because I was in the mood for a pink sauce. But this recipe would be just as tasty without it.
4 chicken thighs (skin on)
Garlic & onion powders
Salt & pepper
1 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
6-8 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
6 small to medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/3 cup white wine
4 jarred artichoke hearts, loosely chopped
1/2 cup jarred Alfredo sauce
1/2 package spaghetti (wheat or brown rice), cooked al dente
Season skin-side of chicken with garlic and onion powders, salt and pepper.
Put olive oil in a large frying pan at medium heat; add chicken, skin-side down and season the top side of the meat. When the chicken is nicely browned, turn.
Add garlic and onions to the pan, nestling them amongst the pieces of meat, and cook for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook another five minutes.
Add chopped tomatoes and their juice, basil and wine. Stir so all the ingredients are mixed together. Cover and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 20 minutes, turning the meat and stirring the sauce occasionally.
Add artichoke hearts, leave pan uncovered and continue to simmer to reduce sauce – approximately 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and add Alfredo sauce. Mix well and heat through.
Add a little, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and enjoy!
Eat well. Be happy.