Do you have a favorite pasta shape that you tend to favor over all the others? I know, some pastas are just meant to go with certain dishes, like elbows or shells for Macaroni and Cheese and penne for Mostaccioli – but when you’re just making pasta with a simple sauce, do you usually lean towards long and skinny? short and twisty? small and curvy? Personally, I tend to reach for farfalle (bow ties) the most, I think sauce clings nicely and I enjoy the general shape. I absolutely love angel hair pasta, but for whatever reason, I often forget about its greatness. I rarely, however, crave spaghetti.
Last weekend when I was meandering through Trader Joe’s, I rediscovered one of my favorites: bucatini. Certainly a lesser-known pasta, I first heard about this delicious variety at a cooking class at Sur La Table. Bucatini is a wide, spaghetti-like noodle that is hollow through the middle. This makes it an especially good tool for trapping sauce within the pasta and it’s really fun to eat!
I must admit that we created the recipe before I even thought to submit it to Presto Pasta Nights, but now I’m thrilled to be able to share it!
We made our own red sauce from a large can of chopped tomatoes, some red wine and dried herbs. Simple and tasty.
For the pasta, I pan-fried a chicken breast that had been lightly salted and peppered while we defrosted some frozen broccoli in the microwave. When the chicken was ready, I chopped it into bite size pieces. Here it is, waiting patiently to be added to the sauce, with some freshly chopped basil by its side.
When everything was ready, we combined the sauce, noodles, broccoli and chicken, then added a nice amount of Parmesan for good measure. What made this dish so great was that the savory tomato sauce seeped its way into the middle of the noodles, so there was a nice bite of sauce with every forkful. If you haven’t tried cooking with bucatini yet, I highly recommend it!
This week’s Presto Pasta Nights – a wonderfully fun roundup that is the brainchild of Ruth at Once Upon a Feast – is being hosted at Closet Cooking by Kevin and will be posted this Friday. Don’t miss all the deliciousness!
1/2 pkg. bucatini pasta
1 chicken breast
1/4 C. fresh basil, chopped
1 C. grated Parmesan
2 C. frozen broccoli, defrosted
1 large can chopped or crushed tomatoes
1/4 C. red wine
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
Cook bucatini according to package directions, drain and set aside.
To make the sauce, add tomatoes and their juice, red wine, salt, pepper and oregano into a large saucepan. Heat on medium-high until bubbly and slightly reduced. The sauce should thicken a bit – about 15 minutes.
In the meantime, salt and pepper the chicken breast and cook in a small fry pan in about 1 Tbs. olive oil until done – about 5 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness.
When chicken is done, dice into small pieces. When all components are ready, combine in a large pot. Add half of the Parmesan and stir to combine. Add the rest of the Parmesan to finish and garnish with some small basil leaves.