5-Ingredient Pasta #5: Chicken and Mushroom Marsala Rotelle

5-Ingredient Pasta: Chicken and Mushroom Marsala Rotelle / Mia / Katie Workman / themom100.com

This Chicken and Mushroom Marsala Rotelle is the definition of winter-hearty, and weeknight friendly.  And don’t we all need more pastas like that in our lives?

What is Marsala wine?

Marsala is a fortified wine made from white grapes aged in a cask.   Fortified wines are strengthened and stabilized with the addition of another alcohol, such as brandy, which deepens their flavor and also boosts the alcohol content (but as with all boozy beverages, the alcohol burns off in the cooking, just leaving behind the flavor, which enriches whatever dish you’re making). Marsala can be sweet or dry, and dry is usually used in savory dishes.  Its flavor is deep and rich, kind of like port, with hints of caramel and nuttiness and raisins or prunes.

What wine can I use instead of Marsala?

Marsala is the typical wine used in the classic chicken dish, made near Marsala, Italy, but you could also try Madeira, another fortified wine, made in Madeira, Portugal. Madeira also comes in sweet and dry versions.  A dry port is also a possible substitution.

How Long Does Marsala Wine Last?

Marsala and Madeira last for months and months in a cool dry place, so you don’t have to worry about buying a bottle and then trying to figure out what to do with the rest of it immediately.

Which Marsala wine is best for chicken marsala?

Dry marsala is best for cooking savory dishes, including chicken marsala, adding a nutty caramelized rich flavor.  Save the sweet marsala for desserts or dishes with a sweetness to them, like meat stewed with fruit.

Is it OK to drink Marsala wine?

Sure though the more pricey ones usually have better flavor – the bottles you will find in a supermarket are definitely intended fo cooking only.  It’s a sipping wine, usually enjoyed in small portions before or after a meal, or with strong cheese.

how do I make pasta with Chicken and Mushroom Marsala Rotelle / Mia / Katie Workman / themom100.com

Here are a few other nice ways to use up that bottle of marsala:


How do you make chicken marsala sauce? / Mia / Katie Workman / themom100.com

And if you’re in the market for other 5-ingredient pastas?  Try these:


Kosher salt to taste

1 pound rotelle (or another short chunky) pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup dry marsala wine

1 pound cleaned and sliced mushroom (you can use any type or combination of mushrooms)

4 cups diced or slivered cooked chicken

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.  Salt the water generously, and let it return to a boil.  Add the pasta, and cook accordingly to package directions, stirring occasionally.  Before you drain the pasta make sure to remove a cup of the cooking water.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic and sauté for one minute until it starts to turn golden, then add the mushrooms, turn the heat to medium-high and sauté for 8 minutes until they are browned.  Add the marsala and chicken and stir, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, until the wine reduces by half, about 2 minutes.
  3. Drain the pasta, adding ½ cup of the reserved cooking water to the pan with the chicken.  Return the pasta to the pot, and add the chicken mixture to the pasta, along with the parsley, and toss to combine.  Add more of the reserved cooking water if needed to moisten.  Serve hot.

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