Fettuccine with White Chicken Ragù


This creamy chicken ragù is easy to make and boasts remarkable depth thanks to the flavors of an Italian-style sofrito made with onions, carrots, celery, and parsley.

Fettuccine with White Chicken Ragu
Photo: Greg DuPree
Active Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 20 mins
6 servings

Sofrito ⁠— diced vegetables, and sometimes spices cooked in oil or butter at a low heat for an extended length of time ⁠— is a cornerstone of Italian cooking and the base of many stews and sauces. It adds instant depth and personality to dishes.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 4 ounces pancetta or guanciale, finely chopped

  • 2 medium garlic cloves

  • 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste

  • 1 1/2 cups Sofrito

  • 6 tablespoons dry white wine

  • 2 cups organic chicken stock

  • 2 leek leaves (from 1 leek) or 2 scallions

  • 2 rosemary sprigs

  • 1 fresh bay leaf

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half

  • 1 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed

  • 12 ounces uncooked dried fettuccine or 16 ounces fresh fettuccine

  • 1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese (about 1/3 cup), grated

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  • 2 stalks celery

  • 1 medium yellow onion

  • 1 medium carrot

  • 1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (about 1 cup)

  • 1/4 cup olive oil


Make the Sofrito

  1. Roughly chop celery, onion, carrot, and parsley by quickly and consistently rocking a mezzaluna over the vegetable mixture on a cutting board.

  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-low. Add vegetable mixture; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes.

Make the Fettuccine with White Chicken Ragù

  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium. Add pancetta; cook, stirring often, until fat has rendered, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to a plate, reserving drippings in Dutch oven. Add garlic to Dutch oven; increase heat to medium-high. Sprinkle chicken all over with salt and pepper. Working in batches if needed, add chicken, skin side down, to Dutch oven. Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 6 minutes. Transfer chicken thighs to a plate.

  2. Reserve garlic and 2 tablespoons drippings in Dutch oven; discard remaining drippings. Add sofrito and wine; bring to a simmer over medium. Cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits, until mixture is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Return chicken to Dutch oven in a snug single layer; add stock, ensuring chicken is barely covered. Return mixture to a simmer over medium. While mixture comes to a simmer, bundle together leek leaves, rosemary sprigs, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf; secure with kitchen twine, and add to Dutch oven. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook until chicken is tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  3. Remove Dutch oven from heat. Transfer chicken to a cutting board; partially cover Dutch oven. Let chicken and sauce stand 10 minutes. Skim and discard fat from sauce; remove and discard garlic cloves and leek-herb bundle. Stir reserved pancetta into sauce. Remove and discard skin and bones from chicken; finely shred chicken meat.

  4. Stir cream into sauce. Cook over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced by nearly half and has slightly thickened, 8 to 12 minutes. Stir peas and shredded chicken into sauce; cook until peas are just tender, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat, and cover to keep warm.

  5. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

  6. Add pasta, Parmesan, butter, and lemon zest to sauce. Stir to combine, adding splashes of reserved cooking liquid as needed to form a creamy sauce. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve in large bowls.

Make ahead

Sofrito can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 5 days.

Suggested pairing

Tart, medium-bodied Barbera d’Asti.

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