Basil and Parmesan Bucatini with Chef Richie Nakano

On the menu:

Basil and Parmesan Bucatini

On Monday, chef Richie Nakano taught some students how a handful of ingredients can actually turn into something extraordinary. The meal itself took around 30 minutes to make, and was relatively easy for pasta lovers at home.

The class began as Richie helped teach students a safe way to hold a knife and chop parsley. After the parsley was chopped into small pieces, the class began picking basil leaves off their stalks. QUICK TIP: Basil oxidizes quickly. With water at the boil it was time for the class to throw in the Bucatini.

Chef Richie instructed the students to cook the pasta for only 5 minutes in the boiling water. The reason being that the pasta will continue to cook in the sauce in a separate pan. Our sauce that day consisted of: red pepper flakes for a little heat, salt for taste, and some olive oil. Once the 5 minutes ended students moved their noodles to the pan along with a couple ladles of pasta water.

Move the noodles around the pan, by doing so they absorb the sauce and attain a nice color. As the pasta water evaporated we ripped (literally) the basil and threw it in the pasta, this will add pleasant aromas to the dish.

As the Bucatini got closer to done we doused the pasta with some olive oil and mixed. Chef Nakano explained that this will give the noodles a nice shine. We then sprinkled a generous amount of Parmesan into the pan and mixed it very well. After this step is done it was time to plate!

Chef Richie showed different ways to plate the pasta, such as a twisting action that will result in a mountain of Bucatini. Once the pasta was in the bowl we weren’t done yet. The dish was garnished with some more Parmesan and chopped parsley.

Chef Richie’s recipe was an easy weekday dinner, that you can cook quickly, and eat even quicker. Happy cooking!

Basil and Parmesan Bucatini Recipe (feeds about 4-5):

3 packages of Bucatini

1 cup parsley

1 cup basil

3 jars of marinara/meat sauce

Olive oil


Red pepper flakes

Pasta Water (remember to keep the pasta water)

  • Fill a pot 3/4 of the way with cold water and bring to the boil.
  • Chop parsley into small pieces and pick off basil leaves.
  • Once water is at a rolling boil, gently put your Bucatini in so they do not break. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Put a separate pan on low-medium heat, add in 1/2 the jar of sauce along with the salt, red pepper flakes, and splashes of olive oil and stir.
  • After the 5 minutes is over, strain the pasta and move to the pan with the sauce.  Add a couple ladles of pasta water to the sauce pan, and gently work your pasta around the pan so it soaks up the flavor of the sauce and the color. When the sauce reduces a bit rip some basil leaves and throw them in the mix. Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.
  • Once pasta is cooked and sauce has reduced, drizzle olive oil, add great amounts of Parmesan, and mix all together.
  • Scoop hefty amounts of Bucatini into a bowl (move your tongs in a twisting motion to attain a nice peak of pasta). Sprinkle some parsley and more Parmesan.
  • Eat!



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