Prep 1 hr 15 mins
Cook 40 mins
Use fresh vine-ripe summer tomatoes. Make sure to seed the tomatoes very well as the seeds lend a bitter taste to the sauce.
- 8 medium ripe garden tomatoes
- 8 chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 ounces pancetta, finely chopped
- 4 cups chopped onions
- 3 cups chopped celery, including the tender inner leaves
- 1 jalapeno pepper, finely minced
- 1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 -2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 fresh bay leaves (or 1 dried bay leaf)
- 1⁄4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1⁄2 cup dry white wine
- 1 lb dried spaghetti
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
- freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil; drop in the tomatoes, a few at a time; cook each batch for 30 seconds.
- Using tongs, transfer the tomatoes to a cutting board; remove the cores; skin the tomatoes, and cut them in half horizontally.
- Gently squeeze the tomato halves over a strainer suspended over a bowl so that the seed pockets fall into the strainer.
- Scoop out any stubborn seeds from the tomatoes cavities with your forefinger.
- Set aside the tomato pulp on the cutting board.
- Rub the tomato seeds in the strainer with the back of a spoon or rubber spatula to push all the tasty tomato bits and juice into the bowl below.
- Discard seeds; coarsely chop to tomato pulp and add to the collected juices and bits of tomato in the bowl; you should have about 5 cups of pulp and juice; set aside.
- Remove and discard the skin and any excess fat from the chicken thighs; dry them thoroughly on paper towels.
- Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven; add in chicken thighs; sauté over brisk heat for 4-6 minutes to brown the first side.
- Turn thighs, sauté 2 minutes, add the pancetta, and continue to cook until the second side browns, 2-4 minutes.
- Transfer chicken to a plate; keep warm.
- If the pancetta has not begun to brown by this time, allow it to cook another minute or two.
- Stir the onions, celery, jalapeño, red pepper flakes, half the salt, rosemary, bay leaves, and parsley into the pot with the pancetta; decrease heat, stirring the vegetables and scraping up any browned bits.
- Sauté the vegetables gently, stirring every now and then, for about 10 minutes until they have softened.
- Add in the wine, increase heat, and cook, stirring until the wine has evaporated.
- Return chicken and any juices that have accumulated on the plate to the pot with the veggies.
- Add in the chopped tomatoes and their juices; cover the pot, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Decrease heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
- During the last few minutes of cooking, taste the sauce, adding more salt, if needed.
- Remove rosemary sprig and bay leaves; keep warm on low heat.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt and drop in pasta.
- Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large sauté pan; add in the mushrooms; cook, tossing frequently, until the mushrooms are cooked through.
- As soon as the pasta is cooked al dente, drain and add to the mushrooms; toss to combine; transfer to a large heated serving bowl.
- Nudge the chicken to one side of the pot and ladle enough sauce onto the pasta to coat each strand.
- Toss again with the Parmigiano-Reggiano; serve pasta, chicken, vegetables, and some sauce with a crusty loaf of bread.