This Healthy Chicken Bolognese swaps out ground beef for lean chicken thighs. The chicken thighs are slow-cooked in a red wine and vegatable tomato sauce and tossed with aldente whole-wheat spaghetti noodles for a healthy take on a classic bologonese sauce.
Heat a large dutch oven over a medium heat. Add oil. Season chicken thighs genrerously with salt and pepper on both sides. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken to the pot. Sear until golden brown, flip and sear on the other side. Remove from the pan and set aside. Leave any residual fat in the pan.
Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the pot. Saute over a medium heat until slightly soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
Pour in red wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the bits at the bottotm of the pan. Stir in tomato paste. Stir in strained tomatoes, water, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, sugar, basil, and parmesan cheese rind. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Place the chicken back in the pot, turn down to low and cover with a lid. Continue to cook for another 25 minutes.
While the sauce cooks, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.Season with salt. It should be as salty as sea water.
Once the sauce has simmered for 25 minutes, drop the pasta in the water. Give it a stir.
While the pasta cooks, remove the chicken from the pot, use two forks to shred. Add back to the pot and give it a stir.
Once the pasta is just under aldente, use tongs to transfer the pasta to the sauce. Reserve pasta water. Add 1 cup of the pasta water to the pasta and sauce. Remove the parmesan cheese rind. Toss everything together over a low heat. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve with shredded or grated parmesan cheese.