Red Pesto Chicken Bucatini

Scatter this super quick dish with all the flavours of pesto – pinenuts, basil and grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Delish!
By Elle Vernon
Photography Andre Martin • Food Styling Elle Vernon • Photo Chef Sarah-Jane Hallett
Red Pesto Chicken Bucatini

Red Pesto Chicken Bucatini

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  • 400 g 400 bucatini pasta

  • 1 Tbsp 1 extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 small 2 chicken breast fillets (400g), diced into 1cm pieces

  • 1 large 1 red onion, thinly sliced

  • 3 cloves 3 garlic, finely sliced

  • 700 g 700 passata tomato purée

  • 190 g 190 jar tomato and garlic stir-through sauce, or sun-dried tomato pesto

  • Toasted pine nuts, finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano and basil leaves, to garnish


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add bucatini, stir and cook according to packet instructions.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add chicken, onion and garlic and cook for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is almost cooked through. Pour in passata and stir. Once sauce begins to simmer around the edge of the pan, continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring until slightly thickened.
  • Drain bucatini one minute before the suggested time, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water. Add pesto and drained pasta to the chicken mixture in the frying pan and toss to coat. Continue to cook over medium heat for the final minute until pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally, adding pasta water as desired to help loosen the sauce.
  • Serve topped with a scatter of pine nuts, lots of Parmigiano and a handful of basil leaves.

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Market tips...

Something on the side?

Toss rocket leaves, shredded red cabbage, sliced pear and a little sliced red onion in a large bowl, drizzle and toss in balsamic vinegar dressing, and serve.

Lose the chook

This is a delightfully simple pasta dish that can absolutely hold its own without the addition of chicken, if you’re after a vegetarian meal.

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