Get to Know the Pasta Chef Behind Westchester’s Newest Food Truck

Photos courtesy of Jacqueline Bufi

We all know how well tender spaghetti twirls around a fork, but turns out spaghetti also rolls — in Jackie’s Pasta Passion food truck.

For Jackie Bufi, pasta is more than a delicious bowl of comfort — it’s the reason she became a chef in the first place. After closing the doors of her Valhalla brick-and-mortar after a nearly three-decade run (to focus on raising her daughter), Jackie’s Pasta Passion is back — and it’s on wheels. “My pasta business has always been something I wanted to get back into,” Bufi explains. “I just took all the best parts of my previous business and put it into a truck. Times like now,” she says, “the world needs comfort food.”

At Westchester Magazine’s Burger & Beer Blast in September, Bufi reintroduced herself and her craft to the county. “We gave out 800 samples of penne vodka that night!”

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As event diners quickly realized, Bufi doesn’t hold back on flavor, creativity, or quality. “I use fresh ingredients, local whenever possible,” she says. “My most popular sauce is our vodka sauce, which is just a tomato cream sauce with no vodka, meat, or additives in it. My grandmother from Italy told me that ‘a la vacca’ literally means ‘from the cow,’ so our penne a la vodka is just that.”

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Jackie’s Pasta Passion has something for everyone with customizable pasta bowls, salads, soups, desserts, and even vegetarian and gluten-free options. “The way I serve my food is by customers building their own pasta bowls. You pick your pasta, your sauce, then two add-ins,” she says. The most popular combination includes penne and Jackie’s traditional vodka sauce, with smoked bacon and hot cherry peppers. Spaghetti with marinara, sundried tomatoes, spinach, and mozzarella is a fan-favorite and, for a lighter option, Jackie’s zoodles (zucchini noodles) are the perfect base for basil-pesto cream sauce and vegetables.

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Jackie’s specials are all about blending flavors or cuisines in out of the, uh, bowl, ways. “I really like to take traditional dishes and put my own twist on them, creating combinations you might not have had before with flavors you recognize, but never thought you would put together.” Case in point: Tequila sauce, an unexpected sibling to traditional vodka sauce. “People are blown away by [it]. Our tequila sauce has jalapeños, lime, peppers, and chicken and, once they all come together, it’s surprising how much the flavors pop.”

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Want to really step out of your comfort zone? Enter Italian tacos, made with Bolognese sauce, mozzarella, lettuce, and tomato, all tucked neatly (well, sort of) into a taco shell.

Find Jackie’s Pasta Passion at the Jefferson Valley Mall in Yorktown Heights. And mangia!

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