Blasut's Chicken Thigh Pasta Sauce With Herbs, Tomatoes (Il Sugo

“Came across this recipe published in The Washington Post & it made me reminisce back when one would buy a nice fat capon (neutered young rooster) because they tasted so fine. Gone are the days of capons (unless you raise your own) but this recipe sounds outstanding for late winter fare (we still have mint albeit straggly in the garden). Attributed to "Marcella Says . . . Italian Cooking Wisdom From the Legendary Teacher's Master Classes, With 120 of Her Irresistible New Recipes" (HarperCollins, 2004), by Marcella Hazan. FYI - If grinding the meat sounds too involved, spare yourself & opt for either ground chicken or turkey. Both are readily available & relatively inexpensive. San Marzano canned tomatoes are available from CA - no need to spend on imported (or try with Muir Farms fire roasted canned tomatoes for a splurge). Per the article, "Dante Bernardis uses the name Blasut both for himself and for his restaurant in Lavariano, a Friuli farmland town. Dante makes this pasta sauce with young roosters, which are tastier than hens. To achieve comparable flavor with what is available in the meat counter of most markets, I have used chicken thighs, the tastiest part of the bird. The liberal use of herbs, unusual in most Italian cooking, makes the sauce intensely aromatic and endows it with a depth of flavor that one generally associates with game. It is excellent on sturdy pasta shapes, such as penne." There you go. Chicken - it's what's for supper. Maybe with polenta (or grits LOL).”
1hr 35mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Remove the skin and all the fat from the chicken thighs, wash them in cold running water, and cut all the flesh away from the bone. Grind the meat fine in a food processor or a meat grinder.
  2. Put the oil, butter and chopped onion in a medium skillet, turn on the heat to medium high, and cook the onion, stirring from time to time, until it is colored a light gold.
  3. Add the chopped carrot and celery and cook for a minute or so, turning the vegetables over from time to time to coat them well.
  4. Add the ground chicken, increase the heat, and cook for 6 to 7 minutes, turning the meat over frequently.
  5. Add salt, pepper, the mint leaves and the white wine, turning over the contents of the skillet two or three times.
  6. When the wine has bubbled away, add the tomatoes, turn over the contents of the skillet, and lower the heat. Let the tomatoes cook at a gentle but steady simmer in the uncovered pan for 30 to 45 minutes, until, when you skim the surface of the sauce with the side of a wooden spoon, the fat following the spoon's trail runs clear.
  7. Add the mixture of chopped rosemary, sage and lemon peel, turn it over with the contents of the skillet to distribute it thoroughly, and cook at a gentle simmer for 10 minutes.

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