Bucatini with chicken, goat cheese, and walnuts

Soy Free

2 Servings, 710 Calories/Serving

25 – 35 Minutes

Water is the surprising ingredient that ties this appealing pasta dish together. First it’s used to poach the chicken breasts and then to boil the pasta, so that the bucatini picks up a subtle taste of the meat. Finally, a little goes in to moisten the finished dish, along with creamy melting goat cheese and tangy lemon juice.


  • Two 6-ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 or 2 shallots
  • Fresh thyme
  • 1 lemon
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup currants
  • 5 ounces bucatini
  • 3 tablespoons walnuts
  • ⅓ cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 ounces baby arugula



Poach the chicken

  • Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel; season generously with salt and pepper.
Bring a medium sauce pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the chicken, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the chicken is cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Reserve the cooking water in the pot. Using a fork, shred the chicken into bite-size pieces.
While the water heats and the chicken cooks, prepare the remaining ingredients.


Prep the remaining ingredients

  • Peel and thinly slice the shallots.
  • Strip the thyme leaves from the stems.
  • Zest and juice the lemon, keeping the zest and juice separate (the juice will be divided between the pasta sauce and salad).
  • Strip the parsley leaves from the stems; coarsely chop the leaves.
In a small bowl, cover the currants with hot water; soak until plumped, 4 to 5 minutes, then drain.
While the currants soak, prepare the bucatini.


Cook the bucatini

Return the cooking water used for the chicken to a boil; salt lightly. Add the bucatini; cook until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain, reserving ¾ cup pasta cooking water.
While the bucatini cooks, prepare the pasta sauce.


Make the pasta sauce

In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm 1 to 2 teaspoons oil. Add the shallots and walnuts, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots start to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken and thyme, season with pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken starts to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the bucatini, currants, lemon zest, and ½ cup reserved pasta cooking water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in the parsley, goat cheese, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Add more pasta water if dry. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
While the pasta sauce simmers, make the salad.


Toss the salad

In a medium bowl, toss the arugula with 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice and 1 to 2 teaspoons oil. Season with salt and pepper.



Transfer the bucatini and sauce to individual bowls. Drizzle with oil, if desired; serve with the salad.

Nutrition per serving: Calories: 710, Protein: 54g, Total Fat: 23g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 150mg, Carbohydrates: 73g, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 17g, Added Sugars: 0g, Sodium: 420mg
Contains: tree nuts, milk, wheat.

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