Iron Chef Shellie

Rigatoni and Chicken Bolognese

A lighter take on the traditional bolognese by using chicken mince. Easy enough to be a weeknight dinner too.


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Rigatoni and Chicken Bolognese
August 10, 2010

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Rigatoni and Chicken Bolognese

I have wanted to make this recipe since I got Bill Granger’s, Simply Bill cookbook many years ago. The picture looked like something I could happily live on, and a good variation from the tradition beef bolognese.

The recipe is really quite easy, you could easily make it after a long day at the office. Once you have done the basics and everything is in the pan simmering away; just cook the pasta and you’ll have dinner in no time.
I found I had to add a bit of sugar to the sauce as it was quite salty. The parsley really cuts through and adds a lovely freshness to the sauce. Be sure to add the parsley in at the end to to really bring the dish to life. 

Rigatoni and Chicken Bolognese

Print Recipe
Servings 4


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 slices pancetta or prosciutto, chopped
  • 500g minced chicken
  • 375ml tomato passata
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 500g rigatoni
  • 3 tbs chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • grated parmesan cheese


  • Put the oil, onion, celery, garlic and a good pinch of salt and pepper in a saucepan over medium heat and cook for about 7 minutes until golden. Add the pancetta and chicken and stir constantly with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps. When the mince is cooked through, add the passata and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with sugar and any extra salt, pepper or sugar.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta to packet directions. Drain and toss with the sauce.
  • To serve, fold in parsley and top with grated parmesan.


Adapted from Bill Granger

Post updated 1 July 2020.


8 comments on “Rigatoni and Chicken Bolognese
  1. jo

    oh yummo yummo- will try this out- thankyou for your blog- It's inspirational!

    August 10, 2010 at 6:19 pm
  2. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    That looks delicious Shellie! I really should do the no seconds thing here too! 😀

    August 10, 2010 at 7:52 pm
  3. penny aka jeroxie

    Yum…. love the photo babe 🙂

    August 10, 2010 at 8:17 pm
  4. Conor @ Hold the Beef

    I think you might have to start making less tasty looking (and am sure smelling and tasting) food if you're going to stick to this no seconds plan.

    I think across the country we're all doing similar things as we dream of impending summer heat and struggle to get into our winter jeans 🙁 booo!

    August 10, 2010 at 10:49 pm
  5. Miss Melbourne

    I love easy recipes like this that actually taste good. Thanks!

    August 11, 2010 at 11:08 am
  6. imasugarjunkie

    this looks really good! And like a really good alternative to the typical pasta too.

    August 11, 2010 at 12:04 pm
  7. BuBbles

    The no seconds rule is a brilliant idea and I think I might have to institute it in our house too 🙂

    Very easy meal to make – thanks for sharing.


    August 11, 2010 at 4:29 pm
  8. Iron Chef Shellie

    Hi Jo – Thankyou for your kind words =D

    Hi Lorraine – Thanks! It's so hard to resist seconds when they taste so good!

    Hi Penny – Thanks =D I'm glad I got at least one good one 😛

    Hi Conor – lol, true that! boo indeed! If all that fails, it will be the rabbit food diet!

    Hi Miss Melbourne – Same! No worries, I love to share the easy recipes!

    Hi I'm A Sugar Junkie – Thanks! Yes, it was quite refreshing from the usual beef 🙂

    Hi BuBbles – Thanks! Hopefully we can lose some weight with it 😛

    August 13, 2010 at 9:44 am

Rigatoni and Chicken Bolognese

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Shellie Froidevaux

All content on this site is by Shellie Froidevaux - aka Iron Chef Shellie. Her skills include recipe development, food styling in her kitchen studio, lifestyle and travel photography, restaurant photography on location, styling and shooting social media for her clients and photography workshops for people who really want to change their game :)

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