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Bucati with Chicken and Broccoli

Coming back home from vacation is always both a bit sad (that vacation’s over) and a bit happy (to be back home). I always look forward to being able to cook in my kitchen again. Not that I don’t enjoy eating out or anything, but cooking is so relaxing that it’s hard for me to go without it for a long time. Are those the words of an addict?

Of course, the first few nights back usually mean staring into an empty fridge and a freezer with frozen chicken pieces (courtesy of Brian during his move). Luckily for us, we had our veggie box pick-up pretty soon after we got back. A quick stop to Trader Joe’s to grab some dried pasta and we were able to improvise a decent dinner. By the way, Trader Joe’s started carrying a new kind of pasta – Bucati!! For some odd reason, I really like hollow pastas.

½ lb bucati (or any long pasta)
1 head broccoli, chopped into bite-size pieces (peel the tough skin from the stem and chop that too)
1-2 pieces of chicken breast, chopped into bite-size chunks
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1 cup milk
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

In a large pot of salted, boiling water, blanch the broccoli stem and florets for 3-4 min until tender. If there are any leaves, throw those in for 1-2 min at the end so they don’t get overcooked. Scoop out the broccoli and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

Cook pasta in same pot of boiling water until al dente. Reserve a few scoops of pasta water. Drain pasta.

Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add in garlic and onion and saute briefly (don’t burn garlic!!). Add chicken and saute until almost done.

Add milk and reduce until thickened – how thick depends on how you like your pasta sauces. If you accidentally reduce too much, use some of the reserved pasta water to thin out the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

Once sauce is of the right thickness, add broccoli and pasta and red pepper flakes, if using. Toss quickly. Readjust seasonings if needed.

Serve immediately.


Yield: 2 servings
Time: ~30 min

8 Comments

  1. caferay said:
    12 August 2008 at 2:34 am

    My sentiments exactly! After a week at Rock Creek, high in the Eastern Sierras midway Mammoth / Bishop, home is a bit melancholic. The cure? Pasta! Tonight we tried the self same Trader Joe’s bucati with a simple quick tomato sauce (onion, garlic and fresh basil), green salad and sourdough garlic toast. While the table pasta bowl soon emptied, next time I will try a heavier sauce, perhaps your chicken and broccoli offering above, since this long, hollow pasta was really quite a mouthful and could have used the balance of a stronger or more developed sauce.

  2. Susan said:
    29 January 2009 at 9:55 pm

    Trader Joes in Pleasanton, CA area no longer carries the Bucati..I check every week. Got another source?

    • angi said:
      29 January 2009 at 11:01 pm

      Yikes, that’s terrible! I actually haven’t seen bucati at my local Trader Joe’s for a while either. You can, of course, substitute any type of pasta for the bucati (spaghetti, linguine, or even penne would work well). Other than that, I’m guessing Italian markets might be a good bet for finding bucati.

  3. Iris Armos said:
    16 February 2009 at 11:38 pm

    By, the way, Trader Joe has discontinued Bucati, at least in Portland, OR. I’m so disappointed.

    • angi said:
      17 February 2009 at 6:37 pm

      Iris, I’m sad to report that the Northern Calif Trader Joes also don’t seem to carry bucati anymore. The other option would be to hunt for a good Italian market in town and check their pasta shelves. Good luck!

  4. Stephb said:
    18 February 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Our TJ’s in St. Louis carries the Bucati so I don’t think it was discontinued.

    • angi said:
      19 February 2009 at 3:59 pm

      Hi Steph, I’m so jealous your TJ’s still has bucati. But thanks to you, now I have hope that the ones around here are just temporarily out of stock and the bucati will return soon! :)

  5. Stephb said:
    19 February 2009 at 10:48 pm

    If not, you can always request them to carry again or maybe they can special order it for you. It’s such a great company I wouldn’t be surprised.

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