Top Chef Pasta – Bucatini with Spinach, Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

13 Mar

I love Top Chef…  I have been a fan since its 1st season. 

But being a fan of the TV show, I don’t understand why is it that I have never bought an issue of Food & Wine magazine, one of the show premier sponsors. Not even to read the feature article on the winners, which is part of the main prize package.  So last month I bought my first and only Food & Wine magazine to see what is it all about.  The main thing that attracted me to it was it had a feature on fast, hearty pastas… my weakness.

So in honor of Top Chef Chicago’s premier last night… I decided to try out my first Food & Wine recipe – Bucatini with Spinach, Tomatoes and Goat Cheese.  The original recipe called for spaghetti, but, as you will see, it works with any noodle in my opinion.  I was hungry and had all the ingredients in my fridge, so “manos a la obra”…



Adapted from the Food & Wine Magazine February 2008 issue

1/4 lbs bucatini or whole-wheat spaghetti   
2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, sliced thinly
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved (about 6-7 grape tomatoes)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 big handfuls of baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino romano or Parmesan cheese
2 ounces of fresh goat cheese, crumbled
Pinch of crushed red pepper -optional
  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until it is al dente.  Drain the pasta well, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and  crushed red pepper, if using.  Cook over moderate heat until the garlic is tender, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat until the tomatoes begin to release their juices, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the spinach and cook until wilted about 2 minutes.
  5. To the skillet with the tomatoes and spinach, add the pasta, the reserved pasta water and the grated pecorino cheese.  Toss over low heat until the pasta is coated with the sauce.  Season again with salt and pepper. 
  6. Add the goat cheese and toss gently.
  7. Transfer the pasta to shallow bowls and serve adding extra grated cheese if desired.

This was an awesome pasta dish.  Worthy of serving when company comes around, but easy enough to do any week-night.

Top Chef Chicago was super cool last night.  I still have not formed an opinion on who’s my favorite.  I guess Sam Talbot from Season 2 will always be My personal favorite.   In the meantime, I will continue trying Food & Wine’s awesome pasta selections… one down, 3-4 more to go. Mmmmm!!

5 Responses to “Top Chef Pasta – Bucatini with Spinach, Tomatoes and Goat Cheese”

  1. Stan March 14, 2008 at 9:48 am #

    I’m sure Bravo appreciates your support of their sponsors. Without sponsors, there’s no show. BTW, is anyone playing the Last 2 game for Top Chef?

  2. evil chef mom March 15, 2008 at 3:56 pm #

    I love any kind of pasta. I’m the same way I love Top Chef but I have never bought a Food & Wine Magazine. Maybe I should start.

  3. Deborah March 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm #

    I love Top Chef!! This pasta dish looks amazing!

  4. Michelle April 3, 2008 at 10:54 am #

    WOW…does this look good and I’ve been looking for a good pasta recipe with goat’s cheese. YUM!

  5. Katie June 19, 2008 at 10:06 am #

    Yummy, that looks really good!!!

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