Have you ever fallen in love with a pasta dish? If not, you're going to want to make this one and tell me how much you love it, because I guarantee this will win you over in just one bite. This rigatoni fiorentina is quick, easy, cheesy, and made in technically just one pan. Trust me when I say this is the pasta recipe you've been looking for. You've found your soulmate.
I love making this recipe all year round, preferably in months where the weather is a little on the chillier side, so when I take a bite, I feel instantly warmed by all the flavors of this dish.
Nothing beats a pasta recipe, and while I have a bunch on my site like my cheesy pesto tortellini bake or my pasta primavera, there's something to be said about a blush sauce mixed with shallot, garlic, and more.
What are the ingredients for this recipe?
This pasta dish calls on a few very basic ingredients, and of course, rigatoni pasta.
- Rigatoni - I love Barilla pasta, so this is the brand I chose here.
- Chicken breast
- Tomato Sauce - just one small can is all we need.
- Tomato Paste
- Heavy Cream
- Baby Spinach - we add this in while the sauce thickens.
- Shredded Mozzarella
See the recipe card below for specific information about quantities.
How do I make this recipe?
Even though you boil the pasta before making the actual dish, this recipe comes together in just one pan. Here's what you'll do.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the rigatoni to al dente. Meanwhile, dice and sauté the chicken and dice then set aside, approximately 5-7 minutes.
In the same pan on a low flame, add in the shallot, garlic, butter and sauté until fragrant, 2 minutes. To the garlic and shallot, add in the tomato paste and stir until combined.
Add in the heavy cream, tomato sauce and let thicken. Add back in the chicken, and wilt the spinach.
Pour in the cooked pasta and toss to coat. Last, top with shredded mozzarella and cover for 10-15m to let the cheese melt into the pasta.
Hint: Save a little bit of the pasta water to add to the sauce as it'll give the sauce a richer, thicker flavor. The starch from the pasta helps with thickening!
Recipe Swaps and Substitutions
If you're following a specific diet like dairy of gluten free, fear not! There are so many was you can adapt this recipe to fit your needs.
- Pasta - you can easily use your favorite gluten free pasta, Barilla has delicious chickpea or lentil pasta that would work great!
- Cheese - use a dairy-free cheese to top the pasta, and use a vegan butter to make the sauce and sauté the garlic and shallot.
- Vegetarian - use a plant-based chicken instead of regular chicken.
The taste may be a touch different, but I can promise you it will still be delicious.
Looking to ramp up this recipe? Here's a few different things you can add to this dish to vary the flavor and more:
- Spicy - add chili pepper flakes to the sauce to kick it up a notch.
- Veggies - add more veggies like broccoli if you want to make it more plant-forward.
- Baked - if you would rather bake this recipe, then you can add the ingredients to a casserole dish, top with cheese, and bake in the oven at 350º for 15 minutes, just to melt the cheese.
Kitchen Tools and Equipment
For this recipe, we'll need pretty standard tools and kitchen equipment when it comes to making the pasta and baking it. One of the tools I highly recommend using is a spider skimmer or spatula. This spatula is circular, and has tiny holes in it. I find it's a lot easier to make pasta recipes when it calls for straining and baking pasta to just use the spider spatula and move the pasta from the water and pot directly to the dish. Less mess and less things to dirty.
Otherwise, here's other common tools you'll need:
- Strainer - if you're not using the spider skimmer/spatula
- Medium Frying Pan - to sauté the veggies, chicken, and this is what the entire dish is made in.
- Large pot - to boil the pasta
How do I store this recipe? Can I freeze it?
All leftovers can be placed in a tightly sealed tupperware and placed directly in the fridge. This recipe is also freeze friendly, so if you want to make this dish for another day, simply prep the veggies and pasta, place into a tupperware and into the freezer it goes. When ready, you can defrost the pasta, top with the cheese and bake according to instructions.
When salting the water, be generous, as we want the pasta to pick up the salt as it boils. An old saying say "salt the water to taste like the ocean." Trust me, it works.
Hungry for More?
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Quick and Easy Rigatoni Fiorentina Recipe
- 1 large pot
- 1 large pan
- 1 strainer
- 1 tongs or spatula
- 1 lb cooked rigatoni
- 2 large chicken breasts cubed
- 15 oz tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup baby spinach
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large shallot minced
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the rigatoni to al dente.
- Meanwhile, dice and sauté the chicken and dice then set aside, approximately 5-7 minutes.
- In the same pan on a low flame, add in the shallot, garlic, butter and sauté until fragrant, 2 minutes.
- To the garlic and shallot, add in the tomato paste and stir until combined. Add in the heavy cream, tomato sauce and let thicken.
- Add back in the chicken, and wilt the spinach.
- Pour in the cooked pasta and toss to coat.
- Last, top with shredded mozzarella and cover for 10-15m to let the cheese melt into the pasta.