Chicken riggies is a staple here in Utica, and I am damn sure it was created here. Local restraunts boast the best riggies in town and often have all you can eat riggie nights. People outside of Utica, NY have never heard of this phenomenom, and that's a damn shame. Chicken Riggies are clearly not vegan, judging by the name, but I have veganized my fathers recipe and made one sexy ass version of these bad-girls!
You will need:
- 6-10 fresh hot cherry peppers diced(you can use jarred, but I prefer food fresh as often as possible) adjust amount according to your preference on SPICY factor!
- 2 pounds of rigatoni pasta (these are a huge pain to find organic and impossible to find gluten free) **If you know of a brand or place to get them please comment**
- 2 of the large cans of crushed tomatoes or 2 ball jars of home canned tomatoes
- 1 bulb of garlic minced
- 1 red pepper diced
- 1 large red onion diced
- 2 cans of black olives diced up, also near impossible to find organic, but sources online are helpful
- hemp, soy, almond, rice milk...any non dairy milk that tickles your fancy (make sure its not sweetened or vanilla)
- vegan cream cheese (tofutti makes some) or you can use a sexy cashew cream cheese ( I prefer as homemade and as little processing as possible, but in a pinch tofutti will work)
- Gardein chicken nuggets (the breaded ones were what Jessbot wanted, so we went with those)
- 1/2 c. nutrtional yeast (yay vitamin B12)
Get your large pot of water on to boil for the pasta, in another big pot combine your jars of tomato sauce, about 1 c. of the hemp milk, and your container of vegan cream cheeseor about 1 to 1 1/2 c. homemade cashew cream cheese. Combine this on medium heat until it is well combined....
While you are cooking your sauce start to sautee your peppers, onions, garlic (mushrooms and peppercinis if you choose to add them) in a splash of olive oil in a smaller cast iron pan. Saute them on low heat to be sure the garlic doesnt burn and you dont lose all of those amazing flavors. Put your Gardein Chicken Nuggets on a baking sheet and bake until they start sizzle and are cooked through.
Add your nutritional yeast and the sliced olives to your sauce, then add the chicken nuggets (cut each nugget into 3 or 4 chunks).....when your onions and peppers are sauteed nicely add them to the sauce. Strain your rigatoni when it is finished cooking and add right to your big pot of sauce and stir it up!
I like to serve this with a big salad full of local organic veggies with a simple balsamic vinegar mixed with olive oil for the dressing.....I imagine a freshly baked loaf of bread would be an excellent touch as well!