Lunchbreak: Mama DePandi’s Bucatini Recipe

Midday News

Michael Coté, Chef, RPM Restaurants

RPM Italian

52 W. Illinois Street, Chicago, IL 60654


  • RPM Italian is open for dine-in, carryout and delivery.
  • RPM Italian also offers a chef curated market where guests can order RPM’s housemade pastas and signature sauces (like the pomodoro sauce), farm fresh produce from RPM’s purveyors, specialty pantry items like truffle oil and spices, plus sommelier selected wine and cocktails to-go.  Order via Tock
  • RPM Italian is open daily for dinner. Reservations can be made via Tock for dining room seating and patio tables.


Mama DePandi’s Bucatini Recipe

Serving Size: 2


  • 1 can of cucina alta tomatoes (28 oz.)
  • 8 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. basil leaves, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 oz. bucatini
  • 2 tbsp. garlic oil
  • pinch of chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp. parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. basil, torn
  • 2 tbsp. parmesan, grated


1. Empty the can of tomatoes into a strainer to drain the juice into a bowl. Reserve the juice. Crush the tomatoes with your hands and set aside.

2. Cut the onion into a small dice. Set aside.

3. Warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent.

4. Add the diced garlic and crushed tomatoes. Stir to combine.

5. Add the sugar and salt, stir to combine. Cook for 20 minutes until reduced by one-third.

6. Add ½ of the reserved tomato juice. Bring to a boil and cook for an additional 20 minutes.

7. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Set aside.

8. Cook 8 oz. of Bucatini according to the package. Drain and set aside.

9. Heat a pan over medium heat and add 2 tbsp. of garlic oil and a pinch of red chili flakes.

10. Add in ¼ cup of sauce and heat through.

11. Add in pasta and toss to coat.

12. Stir in fresh parsley, torn basil and 1 tbsp. of grated parmesan cheese.

13. Plate and top with 1 tbsp. freshly grated parmesan cheese.

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