Warm up during winter with a hearty pasta dish that yields enough for leftovers. Let the hollow noodle hold a secret stash of the smooth sauce for delightful bites.
By Taylor Mathis and Sally James
It has been chilly in Charlotte this week! I craved a quick to prepare dish that was warm, comforting and ample enough for leftover servings. Bucatini pasta with Pancetta and Sundried Tomatoes to the rescue! If you are acquainted with Bucatini, you already appreciate the hollow center of the noodle that hoards a secret stash of delicious sauce for you to savor with every bite. If you have a food mill, take a few minutes to de-seed your tomatoes. This extra step will make your sauce smooth, velvety and devoid of bitterness (***tomato seeds if cooked too long can make a sauce bitter. If this happens, no worries, just add fresh herbs and/or a small bit of sugar to your sauce).
If you want to make this recipe more substantial, add some grilled chicken or sautéed shrimp.
- 1½ pounds Bucatini pasta
- 2 (28 ounce) cans San Marzano Whole Tomatoes
- 1 (8.5 ounce) jar julienne oil packed sun dried tomatoes with herbs
- 8 ounces diced pancetta
- ⅔ cup finely chopped yellow onions
- 1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
- 3 Tablespoons tomato paste (we used double concentrated)
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ fresh ground black pepper
- 8 ounces extra sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
- 1½ cups grated parmesan cheese
- ½ cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- Put the tomatoes through a food mill. Reserve the juice. (alternately, crush tomatoes and juice by hand). Put a large stock pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, strain the oil from the sun dried tomatoes and put the oil into a large non stick saucepan.
- Over medium high heat, add the pancetta to the oil and cook stirring frequently until the pancetta is browned. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions and garlic. Stir. Cook the onions and garlic until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the reserved tomato juice, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook the tomato sauce for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring frequently.
- When the pasta water is at a full boil, add the bucatini and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and return to the stock pot. Add the tomato sauce. Toss the pasta to cover. If sauce is too thick, add a bit of the reserved pasta water. Add ¾ of the white cheddar cheese and ¾ of the parmesan cheese. Stir the pasta until the cheese is well blended. Tear the basil into small pieces and add to the pasta. Empty the pasta onto a serving platter and garnish with remaining cheddar and parmesan cheeses. Serve with additional red pepper flakes, if desired.