This month, Terrapin Restaurant in Rhinebeck, NY celebrates its 20th anniversary. In honor of this occasion, chef-owner Josh Kroner shares his beloved rigatoni recipe.
"This recipe comes from my Uncle Vinny, my Mom's brother. Vinny is a former Marine and restaurateur, big and intimidating, who looks like he just walked off the set of 'The Sopranos.' His restaurant was a very successful Italian joint in Westchester," Kroner says. "Working in the kitchen at Vinny’s was my first real restaurant job. I learned about working in a high paced stressful environment—something I would see a lot of in the future. I learned all the basic Italian restaurant dishes."
- 1 pound rigatoni
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- 2 cups chicken stock
- ½ cup sherry
- ½ cup white wine
- ½ pound boneless chicken breast cut into 1” cubes
- 4 cups spinach, cleaned
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour (plus more for dredging)
- Salt, pepper, sugar to taste
- Heat 4 quarts of water to boil. Add enough salt to make the water taste like sea water.
- Add pasta and cook to specifications on package for al dente pasta. Drain pasta and reserve.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat oil to near smoking in a large sauté pan.
- Season chicken breast cubes with salt and pepper, dredge in flour and add to hot oil. Brown lightly on all sides and add chopped garlic.
- Cook until garlic starts to turn brown (but not black!) and add flour.
- Cook for another 30 seconds and deglaze pan with white wine and sherry.
- Stir quickly to integrate flour and then add stock and marinara and bring to boil, stirring constantly.
- Add spinach and cook for one minute.
- Toss with reserved pasta and season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar (if the marinara has a low sugar content).
- Serve with Parmigiano-Reggiano.