chicken tortellini arrabiata

This recipe is my baby.  It represents the first time I was able to successfully recreate a dish from a local restaurant using just the description from the menu.  On the first try.  I admit, I was (still am) pretty pleased with myself for pulling off such a feat.  Although this particular restaurant does deliver, I’m now able to make the same dish at home for a fraction of the cost.  My happiness over this fact is almost entirely attributable to my thrifty nature.  And also my ability to finally create something without a recipe.  But, of course, I had to write down the recipe right away, because I’m also the type of person that will completely forget how I prepared something last week.

I first made this dish over a year ago, and now would like to share it!  As you can see from the picture, I used tri-color tortellini, but you can use whatever kind you like best.  And if you want to add back some of the fatty flair of the original recipe, go ahead and use heavy cream instead of the half-and-half.

Chicken Tortellini Arrabiata

Yields 4 servings


3/4 lb chicken, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 lb. cheese tortellini or ravioli
7 oz. jar roasted red peppers
1/2 cup marinara
1/3 cup half and half
1/4 cup white wine
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons Romano cheese, grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper


  1. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over moderate heat.  Sprinkle chicken with kosher salt and cracked black pepper, and add to skillet.  Cook until chicken is browned and almost cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes.  Remove chicken and juices to plate.
  2. In a medium/large pot, cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain.
  3. Drain the roasted red peppers.  Add the red peppers, red pepper flakes,  salt and pepper to taste in a blender and pulse chop until no large pieces of peppers remain.
  4. Heat the other tablespoon of olive oil in the medium skillet over moderate heat.  Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add the red pepper mixture, marinara, oregano,  and white wine, reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until sauce is reduced.
  5. Add the Romano cheese and half-and-half to the sauce and simmer for another 2 to 3 minutes, until sauce is reduced and thickened.
  6. Add the chicken and pasta to the sauce and simmer for another minute, until heated through.

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