Rigatoni Fiorentina is an incredibly delicious chicken pasta dish that’s just perfect for a weeknight meal. It has the best creamy sauce infused with garlic, basil, white wine, and melt-in-your-mouth golden bits of chicken! Bonus — it’s ready in just 30 minutes!
Rigatoni Fiorentina may not be your authentic Italian pasta recipe, but this doesn’t mean it’s not out-of-this-world delicious.
According to Italians, pasta with chicken is a major faux-pas, even though they don’t exactly give a reason for that. It’s just something they don’t do in Italy.
The good news is that Americans (and other nations) have graciously ignored this “rule” for decades, and this is how some delicious pasta recipes with chicken were born.
That’s why you can tuck into a bowl of delicious chicken Alfredo, Tuscan chicken pasta or indeed these rigatoni Florentine.
Are these authentic Italian recipes? That’s a definite no. Are they so tasty they can make you happy even on a bad day? Definitely yes!
This creamy rigatoni Florentine has American roots, and sports tender pan-fried chicken bits in a divine spinach tomato sauce infused with garlic, white wine and herbs.
It’s ready in just half an hour, and it’s perfect for those nights when you want a quick dinner that feels like a treat.
What do you need to make rigatoni Fiorentina?
Rigatoni — While the name of the pasta most often used in this recipe is right there in the name, you can use any other type of short pasta instead of rigatoni. Fusilli and penne are both excellent choices.
Chicken breast fillets — I cut the chicken into bite-size pieces, so they cook quickly. You can make them as golden as you like, but make sure they don’t turn out too dry. Even if they have a crispy outside, they should still be a bit juicy in the middle.
Shallots — I like the mild flavour of shallots in this Fiorentina pasta sauce, but yellow or red onion would also work.
Garlic — Fresh garlic is always the best choice in this type of sauce. You can either chop it finely or crush it.
Dry white wine — A bit of wine takes this creamy spinach florentine sauce to the next level and makes it taste like something you’d have in a restaurant. A Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio is what I typically use. If you don’t cook with alcohol, you can substitute it with chicken stock.
Baby spinach — Depending on how large your baby spinach leaves are, you can shred them or leave them as they are.
Passata (tomato sauce) — Use the best quality tomato sauce you can for this recipe, as it really makes a difference.
Double cream — I don’t recommend substituting the double cream (heavy cream) with anything else, like single cream (half and half) or milk, because the sauce will end up too thin.
How to make it?
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, and cook the rigatoni al dente according to the instructions on the package. Reserve 1-2 cups of pasta water before draining.
Add the chicken bits and cook them over medium heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly golden (add a couple more minutes if you want them to be a bit crispy).
Stir in the shallots and garlic and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the dried basil and fresh parsley and stir to combine.
Next, pour the white wine to deglaze the pot. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally until the alcohol mostly evaporates.
Add the baby spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes until wilted. Next, stir in the passata and double cream and allow the sauce to bubble for a couple of minutes until thickened.
Add the cooked pasta and toss well to cover in the sauce. Add a bit of pasta water if the sauce looks too.
Stir in the grated Parmesan and fresh mozzarella, season to taste, and serve immediately.
Recipe notes and tips
- Rigatoni Fiorentina is best served immediately. If you do have leftovers, they will keep well in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. It’s best to reheat this dish in the microwave.
- You can bulk up this chicken pasta dish with mushrooms — add them to the pot together with the spinach.
- Rigatoni Fiorentina is perfect on its own as it’s super satisfying, but you can also serve it with garlic bread.
If you liked this rigatoni Fiorentina recipe, you might also like some of my other easy pasta recipes:
- Pappardelle al Ragu with Mushrooms
- Cream Cheese Pasta with Bacon
- Creamy Peri-Peri Chicken Pasta
- Pistachio Pasta Sauce
- Creamy Red Pesto Pasta
- 300 g (10.5 oz) rigatoni
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 20 g (1 tablespoon) unsalted butter
- 350 g (12 oz) chicken breast fillets, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 medium shallots, finely diced
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 75 ml (2.5 fl oz) dry white wine
- 125 g (4.5 oz) baby spinach, roughly shredded
- 200 ml (1 cup) passata (tomato sauce)
- 200 ml (1 cup) double cream
- 30 g (⅓ cup) grated Parmesan
- 100 g (3.5 oz) fresh mozzarella, cut into bite-size pieces
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, and cook the rigatoni al dente according to the instructions on the package. Reserve 1-2 cups of pasta water before draining.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, deep pan or Dutch oven and melt the butter in it.
- Add the chicken bits and cook them over medium heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly golden (add a couple more minutes if you want them to be a bit crispy).
- Stir in the shallots and garlic and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the dried basil and fresh parsley and stir to combine.
- Next, pour the white wine to deglaze the pot. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the alcohol mostly evaporates.
- Add the baby spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes until wilted. Next, stir in the passata and double cream and allow the sauce to bubble for a couple of minutes until thickened.
- Add the cooked pasta and toss well to cover in the sauce. Add a bit of pasta water if the sauce looks too. Stir in the grated Parmesan and fresh mozzarella, season to taste, and serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 634Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 165mgSodium: 446mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 41g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.