The great thing about this dish (besides everything, I mean) is that you can make the sauce, pasta, and chicken a little ahead of time. Then when you’re ready to serve, toss the pasta and sauce together, top with the chicken, and you’re good to go. If you want to punch it up to the next level, after you crisp the sage leaves, sauté 2 or 3 cups of chopped cauliflower, broccoli, or green beans in the oil. Remove them before you add the prosciutto to the pan and continue with the recipe. Then fold it all into the rigatoni with the sauce and you’ve got your all-in-one starch, protein, and veggie-full meal!
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 pound rigatoni pasta
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 8-10 turns freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, sliced in half horizontally and cut against the grain into 1 2-inch strips
- 1/4 pound Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1¼ cups)
- 1/4 pound aged or regular Provolone cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
Saged Prosciutto Beurre Blanc
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 16 sage leaves
- 1/4 pound Prosciutto di Parma, cut crosswise into thick julienne
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons drained nonpareil capers
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 lemon, juiced and grated
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5-6 turns freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 ounce aged or regular Provolone cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)
- 3 tablespoons finely sliced basil
To prepare the pasta, in a large pot over high heat, bring 1 gallon of water to a boil. Add the salt. Add the rigatoni and stir. Cook the pasta until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Drain and cool the pasta. Set aside.
To prepare the chicken, place the flour in a shallow dish and season with 1 teaspoon of the salt and 4 or 5 turns pepper. In a second shallow dish, beat the eggs. In a food processor, pulse the Italian bread crumbs and panko a few times to break down and combine them. Transfer the bread crumbs to a third shallow dish and stir in the granulated garlic, onion powder, dried sage, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and 4 or 5 turns pepper. Have a rimmed baking sheet ready.
Lightly coat a chicken strip in the flour, then dip it into the egg mixture, then into the seasoned bread crumbs. Gently press the bread crumbs onto the chicken so they stick well and coat evenly. Set aside on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken.
In a deep, heavy sauté pan, pour olive oil to a depth of 1 inch. Heat the oil to 350°F over medium- high heat. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
Working in batches, fry the breaded chicken strips until golden brown and crispy, turning once, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer to the paper towels. Set aside.
To make the beurre blanc, place the olive oil and sage leaves in a large sauté pan, and set the pan over medium- high heat. Fry until crispy, 3 to 4 minutes once the oil is hot. Remove the sage leaves with a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper towel. To the same pan with the oil, add the prosciutto and cook until it is crispy and the fat has rendered, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the prosciutto with a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper towel. In the remaining olive oil and fat in the pan, cook the shallot and capers until the shallot is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for a minute or two. Carefully add the wine, lemon juice and zest, reserved pasta water, and cream (watch out for hot bubbles from the pan). Return the pan to the heat and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly. Cook until the mixture has reduced by two-thirds. Add the parsley, salt, and pepper. Over low heat, whisk in the cold butter one or two cubes at a time, letting each cube melt into the sauce before adding more. The sauce will emulsify. Add the Parmesan and Provolone and whisk until melted. Coarsely chop half of the sage leaves and the prosciutto and add them to the sauce along with half the basil. Stir well. Keep warm over very low heat, whisking occasionally to keep the sauce emulsified.Preheat the oven to 350°F.
To assemble the chicken rigatoni saltimbocca, add the rigatoni to the beurre blanc and toss together. Transfer to an ovenproof baking dish and place the chicken on top of the pasta. Top with the grated Parmesan and Provolone and bake for 12 to 15 minutes to warm through and melt the cheeses. Garnish with the remaining crispy sage and prosciutto and serve.
Tip: When dried pasta is correctly dehydrated, it dries from the inside out, so it really becomes dry. When you reconstitute it, it ends up al dente, "to the tooth," meaning it's tender, but still has real bite to it. If you want truly toothsome pasta, you've gotta make sure that you start with really good dry pasta.
Reprinted by permission of Guy Fieri Family Food by Guy Fieri, William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Copyright © 2016.