Creamy Bucatini With Spring Onions and Mint


  • Salt

  • 1

    pound bucatini or thick spaghetti

  • 3

    tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1

    pound spring onions, thinly sliced, including any nice greens (about 4 cups, see Tip)

  • 1 ¼

    cups heavy cream

  • 1

    large sprig fresh rosemary

  • Large pinch of red-pepper flakes

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 ¼

    cup grated Pecorino Romano

  • 1

    teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

  • ¼

    cup chives, finely chopped, more for serving

  • cup torn mint leaves, for serving

  • Chopped pistachio, for serving (or use pine nuts or almonds)


  1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook until it is just shy of al dente, usually 2 minutes less than the package instructions. Reserve about 1 cup pasta water for the sauce (a coffee mug is good for this), then drain the pasta.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown at the edges and thoroughly soft, 12 to 15 minutes.
  3. Add heavy cream, rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon salt, red-pepper flakes, and a few grinds black pepper to the pan, and bring to a simmer. Let cream reduce and thicken, 2 to 4 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to low and stir in Pecorino Romano until combined. Add the drained pasta and about 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Toss well to coat the pasta. If the sauce is too thick, add pasta water by the tablespoon; if it’s too thin, let it bubble and reduce for a minute or so. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest and chives. Taste and add more salt, if needed.
  5. Serve in bowls, each topped with more chives, mint, a generous amount of black pepper and a sprinkle of pistachios.