California Central Coast Recipes

Bucatini with Pancetta, Watercress and Tomatoes

Bucatini with Pancetta, Watercress and Tomatoes even with the fresh watercress, is a "manly-pleasing" taste. What makes this special is the bucatini pasta. it's a thicker strand pasta, but because it's hollow, it doesn't feel or taste too heavy -but it's a substantial bite. By the way, Albertsons now carries a couple brands of bucatini!

Sauteing the pancetta in olive oil with a couple cloves garlic and red pepper flakes gives this recipe a nice little kick.(The "manly-quotient!") With the addition of the watercress and the cherry tomatoes to lighten the load this becomes an appetizing entree that both sexes will enjoy! It's SO good! So satisfying And Oh! So Spring-like! 2018, Bucatini with Pancetta, Watercress and Tomatoes
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
re-calculate ingredients for:


2 Tablespoons Extra virgin Olive oil
4 ounces Pancetta
3 Large cloves Garlic , peeled, sliced or coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoons Crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup White wine
6 to 8 ounces Fresh Watercress , rinsed (6-8 cups)
1 pint Grape Tomatoes , rinsed and halved lengthwise
Salt and Black pepper to taste
6 ounces Bucatini pasta or other hollow long-tubed pasta

Parmesan Cheese , grated for the table

Preparation Directions.

1 Add 1 tbs of the extra virgin olive oil to a saute pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and saute until it is crispy.

2 Add in the garlic and red pepper and continue to saute until just fragrant and soft. Add the wine and deglaze the pan. Increase the heat to high and reduce the wine down until the liquid has reduced a bit and thickened. Reduce the heat to medium and add in the tomatoes and saute just enough to lightly cook (but not fall apart).

3 In the meantime, in a separate pasta pot, bring water to boiling over high heat. Add in a tablespoon or so of salt, give a stir then add in the pasta. Cook stirring occasionally until al dente, or as directed on the pasta package.

4 When the pasta is al dente, add the watercress to the tomato and sauce pan and toss well. Drain the pasta but keep a little water clinging to the pasta and add it to the tomato mixture Toss well, correcting the seasonings to taste.

5 Dribble the remaining extra virgin olive oil on top and serve immediately with fresh shaved Parmesan cheese if desired.

Wine and Food Pairing and Serving Suggestions.

Choose your wine depending upon the bitterness of the watercress. If the watercress is very light, try a Pinot Gris, otherwise try a robust Rhone white like a Marsanne.

A tip from Sue!

No cheese on seafood please!

When serving an Italian seafood dish, unless the recipe specifically calls for cheese, grated Parmesan cheese on top is not a good idea!

The pungent taste of Parmesan is usually too strong for the delicate fish flavors.