One of my more favorite things to do is clean out the refrigerator to make dinner. It’s fun to see how I can take often disparate items and pull them together into a tasty meal.

Tonight, I was lucky – everything I had on hand went well together without having to think too hard.

I had a half chicken in the freezer from a month or so, ago, that I wanted to use. And there was a fennel bulb. And celery. And a leek. Carrots. Mushrooms. 1 lone red pepper and a dozen freshly roasted. A container of mushrooms.

Definitely pasta night!

I started by browning the chicken in a braising pan. Out it went and into the pan went the chopped fennel, celery, leek, red pepper, and carrots. And garlic. I sauteed them all and then added a cup of red wine, let it cook a bit, and then added a can of diced tomatoes and the whole mushrooms. I kept the mushrooms whole so I could fish them out of Nonna’s plate. She doesn’t like mushrooms, this week.

I nestled the chicken into the concoction, sprinkled on some salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and dried oregano, put a lid on it and into the oven at 325°F for a couple of hours.

After a couple of hours, I removed the chicken to cook a bit and put the pan back into the oven. When the chicken was cool enough to handle, I pulled all the meat from the bones and chopped it up a bit and added it to the pot.

Back into the oven, because… why not? I wanted the vegetables to more or less collapse into a sauce. And, they did!

I cooked up some Caputini pasta, mixed it all together, and sprinkled on some cheese.

Dinner was served!

The pasta is a fun shape. Victor has made it before – it’s a royal pain-in-the-ass to do – and it went really well with a totally throw-together-slow-cooked sauce. I’m sure we will be seeing it again.