If you’re craving a good pasta dish while visiting Zurich, head right over to Chris Eckstein’s Bottega Berta, a charming casual restaurant very close to the center of the city.

The menu abounds with interesting selections such as the truffled ravioli he is holding in the portrait photo, but I particularly love this hearty dish of bucatini in a ham-rich tomato sauce with chickpeas and basil.

Makes about 4 servings


Sauce

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 ounces boiled ham cut into thin shreds

2 cloves garlic, crushed

3 cups Italian tomatoes run through a food mill

Salt and pepper

1 cup cooked chickpeas, freshly cooked or canned

Shredded basil to garnish

Pasta

Chef Chris Eckstein of Bottega Berta

Chef Chris Eckstein of Bottega Berta

1 pound bucatini cooked al dente in boiling salted water

1.  Heat the oil with the ham and garlic and cook until they are both lightly golden.  Remove and discard the garlic.

2.  Let the oil cool for a minute and stir in the tomatoes.  Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.  Cook for about 20 minutes.

3.  Right before serving stir in the chickpeas and heat through.  Stir a small handful of basil into the sauce.

4. Toss the sauce with the pasta and serve in heated soup plates; pass grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano at the table