Chef Joel & Jenn: Saffron & Tomato Bucatini Pasta

Jenn and I are now on our third round of Blue Apron. We've kind of gotten into a routine (both positive and negative) of getting a Steak. Chicken, and Pasta meal for each of these. It's sort of disheartening because that's typically what we cook anyways. So if we are to continue ordering Blue Apron we've both decided that we're going to try to be a little more adventuresome. 

One of the best meals of this latest rounds of Blue Apron was a pasta meal, the Saffron & Tomato Bucatini pasta. It was also the easiest one to make thus far. In fact, my sous chef was running late from work so I ended up having to do most of the prep/cooking alone. Luckily there really wasn't a ton to do. There were only three items to prep which were squash, garlic, and tomatoes. From there it was just cooking the pasta and mixing ingredients to form a sauce. 

Not all that complicated, but the results were phenomenal. Like most Blue Apron meals we were a little worried that it wasn't going to be enough food (it was about half the amount of pasta we normally cook). However, once the sauce, squash, and pasta was combined it made for a delicious, albeit spicy pasta dish. We both devoured every last bit of it and it turned out to be one of our favorite Blue Apron meals so far. It paired nicely with the last drops of our Cult wine. 



  • 6 oz Bucatini Pasta
  • 6 oz Red Charm tomatoes
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic (We used 4)
  • 1 Summer Squash
  • 1 Bunch Basil
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1/4 tsp of Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Large Pinch of Saffron
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese


  • Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Quarter the squash lengthwise; cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick pieces. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Halve the tomatoes and place in a bowl; season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until just shy of al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.
  • While the pasta cooks, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the squash. Cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper.
  • To the pan, add the garlic and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the tomato paste; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until dark red and fragrant. Add the seasoned tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly softened and heated through. Turn off the heat.
  • Pick the basil leaves off the stems; discard the stems. To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked squash and aromatics, saffron, butter, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring vigorously, 2 to 3 minutes, or until thoroughly coated. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Turn off the heat; stir in half the basil (tearing the leaves just before adding). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Divide the finished pasta between 2 dishes. Garnish with the cheese and remaining basil (tearing the leaves just before adding). Enjoy!

Recipe Source: Blue Apron

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