Chefs' Recipes

Chicken and clove ragù with polenta pasta

A wonderfully aromatic dish that shows just what white ragù is capable of.

By Ricardo Momesso
  • 50 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs 20 mins cooking plus cooling, chilling
  • Serves 6 - 8
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"I can't get Valentino's clove-scented chicken ragù out of my mind. Would the chef share the recipe?" - Christopher Dranias, Brunswick, Vic


  • 1 bunch cavolo nero, trimmed, ribs remove (about 350gm)
  • 60 ml olive oil (¼ cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 anchovy fillets
  • 40 gm finely grated pecorino, plus extra to serve (½ cup)
Polenta pasta
  • 100 gm polenta
  • 500 gm plain flour (3 cups)
Chicken ragù
  • 60 ml olive oil (¼ cup)
  • 3 golden shallots, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 kg coarsely minced chicken
  • 1 litre dry white wine
  • 4 cloves, cracked


  • 1
    For polenta pasta, bring 350ml of salted water to the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, then add polenta in a thin, steady stream while whisking continuously until all is incorporated. Reduce heat to low and stir occasionally until polenta is cooked and thick (35-45 minutes; you may need to add extra water). Spread thinly on an oiled tray, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to chill. Transfer polenta to a kitchen mixer fitted with a paddle and beat until smooth. Add flour and mix until a soft dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth (8-10 minutes), adding extra flour if too sticky. Wrap in plastic wrap and set aside to rest (30 minutes).
  • 2
    For chicken and clove ragù, heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and sauté until tender (8-10 minutes). Add chicken and fry until juices reduce and chicken begins to brown (35-40 minutes). Add wine and cloves, and simmer until liquid is almost evaporated (30-40 minutes). Add 1 litre water and reduce by half (30 40 minutes). Season to taste and set aside.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, divide pasta into quarters and roll each out on a lightly floured surface to about 2mm thick. Cut into triangles of about 3cm and transfer to flour-dusted trays.
  • 4
    Cook cavolo nero in a saucepan of boiling salted water until tender (2-3 minutes). Drain, refresh and set aside. Heat oil in a large frying pan, over medium-high heat, add garlic and anchovies and cook until starting to colour (2-3 minutes). Add cavolo nero, season to taste and cook until starting to colour (2-3 minutes). Transfer to chicken ragù and stir to combine.
  • 5
    Cook pasta in a large saucepan of simmering salted water until al dente (1-2 minutes). Drain, toss with ragù, sprinkle with pecorino and serve hot with extra pecorino.


Note At Valentino chef Riccardo Momesso likes to use whatever greens are in season.