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Bucatini with Chicken Thighs and Mustard Greens

Nathan Congleton/TODAY


Olive topping
  • 1/4 cup pitted green olives, whole
  • 1/2 jalapeño, seeds removed
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 anchovy fillet
  • 1 shallot
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 pound bucatini pasta
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch mustard greens, cut into think ribbons
  • 1 pound chicken thighs, diced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons grated Pecorino cheese, preferably Locatelli
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Chef notes

I love this recipe because it's an easy one-pan meal. Once the pasta is cooked it's just a matter of literally tossing it all together. It's hearty and filling for a cold winter day without making you feel stuffed.

Technique tip: Don't dump all the delicious, seasoned, starchy pasta water down the drain. Use it like a stock or a broth to help coat and sauce the pasta. It has a great pasta flavor and because you seasoned with salt before adding the pasta the water helps season the food too.

Swap options: Shrimp, ground pork, ground sausage or roasted vegetables would be nice. We want to stay away from any heavy meats like beef, lamb, game or duck. This dish is a little too delicate for them. For the cheese, Pecorino is best but Parmigiano or Grano Padano would work well.


For the olive topping:

Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and pulse to blend. It should be slightly chunky and rustic.

For the pasta:


Cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente, about 8 minutes.


In a pan, over medium-high heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and gently sauté the garlic and mustard greens. Once greens are wilted, add chicken thighs and cook for a few minutes.


Stir in about 2 tablespoons of olive condiment, the cooked pasta, a splash of pasta cooking water to the pan. Stir in the lemon juice and butter.

To serve:

Serve the pasta in a bowls topped with the cheese, black pepper and additional olive topping.