makes 4 to 6 servings
½ pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine
½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
8 slices hickory smoked bacon, chopped (½-inch pieces)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped red onion
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 pound bucatini
1 cup coarsely chopped orange bell pepper
¾ cup frozen corn kernels
5 ounces baby spinach
1¼ cups heavy cream
pesto (recipe follows)
½ cup toasted pine nuts
¼ cup finely grated Locatelli Romano cheese
3 cups loosely packed basil leaves
1 cup olive oil
¼ cup freshly grated Locatelli Romano cheese
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts (see Note)
3 large garlic cloves
½ teaspoon coarse salt
To marinate the chicken: In a medium-size bowl, combine the chicken with the olive oil, wine, Italian seasoning, chili powder, and coriander. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
Put a large pot of water on to boil over high heat.
Place the marinated chicken with the ginger in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and set aside.
To make the pasta: In the same skillet, over medium heat, cook the bacon until browned but not crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon, and set aside.
Heat the oil with the butter in a shallow Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the bucatini to the boiling water and cook until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes.
Add the pepper, corn, and spinach to the Dutch oven, and cook until the pepper is just tender and the spinach is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cream, Pesto, pine nuts, and Romano cheese to the Dutch oven and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring to incorporate. Drain the bucatini and add to the vegetables and sauce with the reserved chicken and bacon, tossing gently to blend all of the ingredients. Serve immediately with additional grated cheese.
To make the pesto: Place all the ingredients in a blender and process until the pesto is finely puréed. Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator with a thin film of olive oil on top, covered, for up to 24 hours.
bacon recipe courtesy of: At Home with Magnolia: Classic American Recipes from the Owner of Magnolia Bakery by Allyssa Torey and John Kernick. Wiley, 2006