Penne with Chicken Sauce

Whenever I make this sauce over a bed of penne, my guests finish it off immediately because it’s so tasty. Using chicken thighs instead of breasts ensures that it’s soft and moist.

COOKING TIME: 40-45 minutes

CHEF’S TIP: The chicken mixture can be made ahead and reheated.

Serves 8


  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots          
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 45-60ml (3-4 T) butter or margarine
  • 15ml (1 T) olive oil
  • 750g (1.5 lb) deboned chicken thigh fillets
  • 250ml (1 cup) chicken stock
  • 300g (10.5 oz) rosa tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 x 410g (14 oz) tins chopped tomatoes
  • 4 fresh bay leaves or 2 dry bay leaves
  • 30ml (2 T) chicken stock powder
  • coarse salt
  • black pepper
  • 500g (1 lb) penne


  1. Finely chop the onion, carrots, celery in a food processor. Then in a large pot, sauté them in the butter or margarine with the olive oil until just soft and lightly coloured. Cut the chicken thighs into small pieces, add to the vegetables and fry until cooked through.
  2. Pour over the stock, bring to a boil, reduce slightly and then add the rosa tomatoes and tinned tomatoes (including the liquid) as well as the bay leaves. Season the sauce with chicken stock powder to taste.
  3. Stir well to mix everything, then cover and simmer for about 40 minutes or until the chicken is very soft. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  4. Boil penne until cooked “al dente”. Drain. Mound on a large platter and then top with the chicken mixture.