Spotlight Series: All About Bucatini Pasta

Spotlight Series: All About Bucatini Pasta

At first glance, bucatini pasta simply looks like thick spaghetti. But look a little closer and you’ll see that the long strands are actually tubes. The thin pasta is hollow instead, resembling thin straws. This unique shape lends bucatini an enjoyable al dente bite and makes it especially good for sauces like Amatriciana and cacio e pepe.

DeLallo Bucatini: Fast Facts

Category: Tubular pasta
Meaning: little hole
Cook Time: 7 to 9 minutes
Place of Origin: Lazio region, Italy
Main Ingredients: durum wheat, water
Alternative Names: perciatelli
Possible Substitutes: spaghetti, fusilli col buco

What is Bucatini?

Sometimes called perciatelli in the region of abruzzo, bucatini is a long, thin, tubular pasta. The name bucatini comes from “buco,” which means hole in Italian. It looks similar to spaghetti but is slightly thicker thanks to its signature hole. The pasta’s thinness and length sets it apart from other hollow pasta shapes like ziti and penne, and its hollow center it better at capturing sauce than spaghetti.

Bucatini’s origins can be traced to the Lazio region of Italy, especially in and around Rome. It is featured in the popular dish bucatini all’Amatriciana and is often used to make cacio e pepe, alla gricia or carbonara.

Bundle of uncooked bucatini pasta
Bundle of uncooked spaghetti pasta

How is Bucatini made?

Like many pastas, bucatini dough is made using a combination of durum wheat and water. What sets this pasta shape apart is how the dough is formed.

While some flat styles of pasta like pappardelle can be rolled out by hand and cut, bucatini is an extruded pasta. Because it has a hole running down the center, it must be made using a machine. Pasta dough is forced through a perforated disk, producing long strands with a hollow center. It is then cut into the desired lengths and either dried or sold fresh.

The extruding process is similar to the production of other hollow shapes like ziti, but the hole is much smaller. The pasta is also cut into long strands like spaghetti rather than short, bite-sized pieces.

How to Cook Bucatini

To cook bucatini, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add enough salt to make the water salty like the sea. Add the pasta to the boiling water and give it a good stir. This will help separate the strands and keep the pasta from sticking together or to the pot.

Cook the pasta at a rolling boil, stirring occasionally, until al dente. For dried bucatini, this usually takes 7 to 8 minutes. Fresh bucatini will take half the time or less—start checking it after 3 minutes. To see if the pasta is done, taste a strand. It should be tender with a slightly firm bite in the center.

If your sauce requires pasta water, reserve some before draining. Drain the pasta in a fine mesh strainer and do not rinse. Immediately toss with sauce and serve.

Hand stirring a pot of boiling water with a wooden spoon

The Best Bucatini Pasta: The DeLallo Difference

DeLallo bucatini pasta is made using the highest quality durum wheat. The exclusive flour blend is high in gluten and protein content, which results in superior taste and texture. Additionally, the pasta is extruded using a bronze die to create a rough surface that is ideal for sopping up sauce. Dried slowly at a low temperature, the pasta-making process is designed to mimic traditional methods. DeLallo’s bucatini cooks up to a perfect al dente and is an appetizing palette for a variety of sauces.

Zoomed in image of uncooked bucatini pasta

Cooking With Bucatini Pasta And Usage Ideas

Bucatini is most famously paired with Amatriciana sauce, named for the town of Amatrice in the Lazio region of Italy. The savory combination of guanciale or pancetta, tomato, onion, and Pecorino Romano goes wonderfully with bucatini’s texture and shape. Cacio e pepe—a simple dish of pasta, Pecorino cheese, and black pepper—is also frequently made using bucatini. The pasta’s tubular shape gets coated inside and out with the flavorful sauce.

Use bucatini to make these easy recipes: 12 Best Bucatini Pasta Recipes

Bucatini Substitutes

For thinner sauces like in cacio e pepe, swap bucatini for spaghetti. While the texture will be slightly different and it won’t capture the sauce quite as well, it will still be an enjoyable dish. Fusilli col buco is a fun swap; the long pasta is hollow like bucatini with a twist: it’s also spiral. For thicker or chunkier sauces, ziti or penne are good choices thanks to their open shape.

DeLallo Bucatini: FAQs

Bucatini vs. Spaghetti: What Is the Difference?

While spaghetti and bucatini look similar, they have some key differences. Spaghetti is a long, thin pasta that is used in a wide range of dishes. It’s most famously paired with marinara sauce and the occasional meatball. While bucatini is a long pasta like spaghetti, it is slightly wider and hollow. This shape gives the pasta more of an al dente bite and allows it to capture more sauce.

Perciatelli vs. Bucatini: What Is the Difference?

If you’ve spotted perciatelli and bucatini at the store and thought the two pastas look suspiciously similar, you’re right! While bucatini is the most common name used in the U.S., the pasta also goes by the name perciatelli. You’re more likely to find it called perciatelli in Italy, but regardless of what it’s called, it is sure to be delicious.

Can I Make Bucatini At Home?

Some pastas are easy to make at home with little to no equipment, such as pappardelle, fettucini, or even homemade ravioli. These types of pasta are made of thin sheets of dough that can be rolled out and cut. Bucatini, on the other hand, requires some special equipment. Because the pasta is hollow, you’ll need a pasta machine with a bucatini extruder die to produce its signature shape.

Where Can I Buy DeLallo Bucatini?

Order DeLallo bucatini online or find it at most major supermarkets across the country.