Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Chicken Cacciatore Spaghetti and Meatballs with Ragu® Old World Style® Traditional Pasta Sauce

    This is a sponsored post by the folks at Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce     

 When I was a child, my mother made her spicy version of Chicken Cacciatore over a fluffy bed of white rice almost once a week.  It was one of my favorite meals and I always looked forward to eating it.  After creating my Ragu no boil Lasagna , I was inspired to look around Ragu's recipe site when I noticed their skillet Chicken Cacciatore.   This filled me with childhood memories so I knew it was the next dish I would work with using  Ragu® Old World Style® Traditional Pasta Sauce.  I decided to do a"Tra-Dish" version the the classic Cacciatore by creating a Spaghetti and Meatballs dinner using the same ingredients.  It was such a fun spaghetti dinner and I received a big thumbs up from the kids and my husband.   


The Pasta:
1lb spaghetti pasta cooked to al dente in salted water

The Meatballs:
2lbs of lean ground chicken
1 egg
1 small handful of minced parsley
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp granulated garlic (or 2 cloves grated)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3 slices of bread soaked in about 1/4 cup of milk*
Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix well and form into meatballs.  Do not overwork the meatballs when you shape them so they stay tender.

I made golf size meatballs.  I like the dramatic size of these meatballs and they don't get lost in the sauce.  You can make them any size you like.

*Note:  you can use bread crumbs if you like to bind the meatballs.  But I prefer soaking a few slices of bread in milk until they soften and you can "mush" with your fingers.  This gives the meatball a very tender texture.

Fry the meatballs on med-high heat in about 2 Tbs of oil.  You may have to do it in two batches.  After the meatballs brown on all sides transfer to a plate.  You don't have to cook the meatballs fully, they will finish cooking in the sauce.

The Cacciatore Sauce:
2 jars (1 lb. 8 oz.) Ragu® Old World Style® Traditional Pasta Sauce
2 large bell pepper diced
1 large onion diced
2 cups diced celery
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
red chili flakes to taste
salt and black pepper to taste
3-4 cloves of garlic minced or grated
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (plus more for garnish)
2 Tbs capers (optional)

 Prepare Meatballs as instructed above.  Then prepare all your vegetables.  In a large pot saute the celery, onion and bell pepper in 2 Tbs olive oil.  Once they soften, add garlic, dried basil, oregano. salt, black pepper and red chili flakes.

Next add browned meatballs and Ragu® Old World Style® Traditional Pasta Sauce.  Simmer covered on medium low for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Finally add Parmesan cheese and capers. Cook another 2-3 minutes.  Serve over al dente noodles.  Enjoy.

          Each jar of Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce is made with 11 juicy tomatoes making it its richest,  thickest recipe.      Ragú® has the Authentic Italian taste American family’s love and a variety of great tasting, quick and easy to make family favorite recipes. 
·         Visit for additional quick, easy and delicious recipe ideas
·         Visit to enter the Ragú Better and Better Sweepstakes for a chance to win great Authentic Italian themed prizes and a grand prize trip to Venice for a family of four.

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  This is a sponsored post by the folks at Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce 

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