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The Food & Wine Diet

Chicken Thigh Ragù over Pasta with Barbera

Chicken Thigh Ragù over Pasta with Barbera

Chicken Thigh Ragù over Pasta with Barbera Photo © Kristin Donnelly

These healthy recipes are all created to pair with wine (a 5-ounce glass has anywhere from 110 to 150 calories)—all for 600 calories or fewer.

Though delicious, fall stews can often pack a lot of calories. Skinless chicken thighs help lighten a traditional meaty ragù and they shred beautifully when braised. An easy-drinking Italian red, like Barbera, works perfectly with the tomato-based sauce, which is tossed with fiber-rich and hearty-flavored whole-wheat pasta.

Chicken Thigh Ragù with Whole-Wheat Fettuccine
Active: 30 MIN; Total: 1 HR 10 MIN
4 Servings

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound trimmed skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 medium red onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1/2 cup)
1 garlic clove, smashed and peeled
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup chicken stock or water
1 1/2 cups tomato puree
8 ounces whole-wheat fettuccine
Chopped parsley, for serving

1. In an enameled cast-iron casserole or other heavy pot, heat the olive oil. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Add half of the chicken and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until nicely browned all over, about 8 minutes. Transfer the browned thighs to a plate. Add the remaining chicken and cook, then transfer to the plate.
2. Add the onion, carrot and garlic to the casserole and cook over moderate heat until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook until it turns brick red and is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil; cook until it nearly evaporates, about 2 minutes. Add the stock or water and tomato puree and bring to a simmer.
3. Nestle the chicken in the sauce and cover the casserole. Braise the chicken over low heat until the meat pulls apart easily with a fork, about 40 minutes. Transfer the chicken and garlic clove to a bowl. Using 2 forks or your fingers, pull the meat into shreds; mash the garlic. Stir the chicken and garlic into the ragù and keep warm.
4. In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the ragù and toss, adding the pasta water as necessary to loosen the sauce.
5. Transfer the pasta to bowls, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Wine An easy-drinking Barbera d’Alba, such as 2010 Elvio Cogno Bricco dei Merli.

One serving 443 cal, 13 gm fat, 2 gm sat fat, 50 gm carb, 8 gm fiber, 30 gm protein.

Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.

Related: Healthy Pastas
Healthy Italian Dishes
Healthy Fast Weeknight Dinners

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