Spicy chicken, tons of garlic, a combo of alfredo and marinara sauce, and a handful of peas make up this Spicy Chicken Rigatoni, one of my favorite pasta dishes of all time from the restaurant Buca Di Beppo.
If I had to make a list of my top 3 favorite pasta dishes (from restaurants) of all time, the Spicy Chicken Rigatoni from Buca Di Beppo would definitely be on there. The only problem is that it’s around $30 for a large order which translates to probably about a pound of pasta. This has always seemed a little steep for some pasta, but it was so good that we continued to order it every now and then.
Just last week I finally decided to try and duplicate the recipe as best I could. I knew I could make it cheaper, but it wasn’t until I actually thought about it that I realized just HOW cheap it would be. In the end, it cost me about $7.00 and the result truly surprised me. It doesn’t taste exactly like Buca’s version, but it was close enough and absolutely yummy that I’ll happily save the $22.00 to make it myself.
I started by making homemade alfredo sauce that took about 5 minutes from start to finish (seriously easy and will definitely be used in the future for other pasta dishes). I set that aside, then sliced up two chicken breasts into super thin strips and sautéed them in a pan with tons of garlic (a full tablespoon!), black pepper, and spicy crushed red pepper flake. Once the chicken was cooked through, I added in the alfredo sauce and two cups of marinara and let it simmer for a bit so that all of the flavors could incorporate. While the sauce was coming together, I boiled a pound of rigatoni noodles, threw in some peas and within 30 minutes, my version of Buca Di Beppo’s Spicy Chicken Rigatoni was ready, and oh, was it good!
This dish is pretty spicy which is EXACTLY the way I like it. If you’re not too keen on spice, feel free to cut back on the amount of red pepper flake you add. You could omit it altogether if you want no spice. I served this with our favorite Perfect Cheesy Garlic Bread.
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into super thin strips
- 1 tablespoon garlic – minced (I used about 6-7 cloves)
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flake
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups alfredo sauce (see recipe here)
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1 lb rigatoni noodles cooked al dente
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Sprinkle of fresh parmesan cheese and a pinch of red pepper flake for garnish.
- In a large skillet on medium-high heat, heat two tablespoons olive oil. Sauté garlic, red pepper flake, and coarse black pepper for 2-3 minutes. Add in thin strips of chicken breast, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cook until chicken is done at a temperature of 160 degrees. This should only take a few minutes because the chicken is cut thin.
- Add in marinara sauce and stir. Then add in alfredo sauce. Let the sauces simmer for about 10 minutes.
- To the sauce/chicken, add two tablespoons butter and 1/2 cup peas. Stir until the butter melts.
- Combine chicken/sauce mixture with cooked pasta. Garnish with fresh parmesan cheese, and a pinch or two of red pepper flake.
Recipe adapted from Kare11