Sixstoreys Logo

What is Bucatini Pasta? Why It’s Not Your Average Pasta

By: Shivani Choudhary
Updated On: December 15, 2023

Imagine journeying to the iconic cobblestone streets of Rome, with the aroma of mouthwatering Italian dishes wafting from every corner. Amidst all the known Italian dishes, one type of pasta in particular has been capturing attention and appetites worldwide – Bucatini. But what is Bucatini pasta exactly? This hidden gem, hailing from the heart of Italy, might be less well-known compared to her pasta siblings Spaghetti or Fettuccine, but packs a flavor that will kick your expectations to the curb and leave you asking for more.

History, structure, and a unique flavor profile, all make Bucatini a must-try for every pasta lover out there. This blog dives deep into the delightful world of Bucatini pasta, giving you a comprehensive guide of this exceptional variety of pasta that’s taking culinary enthusiasts by storm.

Also Read: What are Pimentos?

What is Bucatini Pasta?

What is Bucatini Pasta?

Bucatini is an Italian pasta that can be best described as a thicker variant of spaghetti with a hole running straight through the center. Its name originates from “Buco,” meaning hole in Italian, accurately describing its distinctive characteristic. Originating from the Lazio region, it’s largely popular in Rome and its surrounding regions.

Unique Appearance and Texture

Bucatini boasts a long, tubular shape which is uniformly round and thicker than typical spaghetti. The most distinguishing feature of this pasta is the hollow center that runs throughout its length, almost like a long straw. This hole isn’t merely decorative; in fact, it plays a significant role in Bucatini’s culinary applications.

The History of Bucatini

Bucatini pasta has been around for many centuries in Italy. With its roots in ancient Roman cooking, it has been making mouths water and satisfying appetites for generation upon generation.

The Taste

What makes Bucatini so indulgent is the texture. Being thicker than spaghetti, Bucatini has a fulfilling, hearty bite that’s absolutely unparalleled. The hollow center, aside from making Bucatini unique visually, serves a gastronomical purpose too. It enables the pasta to hold more sauce inside and out, allowing for a flavor-packed experience in every single bite.

Together, let’s take a further plunge into the world of Bucatini pasta to understand its uses, applications, and the secrets behind cooking it to perfection!

The Unique Structure of Bucatini Pasta

The Unique Structure of Bucatini Pasta

At a mere glance, I guess one could mistake bucatini for spaghetti. However, if you look closely, there’s something that sets bucatini apart – in fact, right in its center. Bucatini pasta has a distinctive feature; it’s a type of tubular pasta that is hollow in the middle. The Italian term for this remarkable pasta ‘bucato’, even hints towards this, meaning ‘pierced’.

This unique structure makes it sturdier than most pasta types and it holds up incredibly well in robust or heavy sauces. Oh, and when you bite into it? That’s where the magic happens. You could say the hollow center acts as a sauce conduit, sucking up all that savory goodness, which gives you a burst of flavor with each mouthful.

Why is Bucatini Different from Other Pastas?

Now, you might be wondering, “Isn’t there a plethora of pasta types out there? What makes bucatini so special?” Firstly, let’s acknowledge that beauty lies in each pasta’s uniqueness – every pasta type brings something distinct to the table. However, bucatini stands out in terms of its structural design and the diverse flavor profile it offers, thanks to its hollow core.

Compared to other popular pasta types such as spaghetti or rigatoni, bucatini’s hollow center, if I may call it so, is really its ace card. This ingenious design provides an experience that is not easily rivalled. Spaghetti, for instance, while being most similar in size to bucatini, doesn’t carry the sauce inside, missing out on that intense flavor burst bucatini offers. Rigatoni, on the other hand, does have a tube-like structure capable of holding the sauce, but the larger diameter and ridges create a completely different texture and mouthfeel.

Remember, each pasta has its place and purpose, and bucatini’s area of expertise seems to be maximizing flavor absorption and delivering an uncompromising punch of taste. Trust me; once you try bucatini, there’s no turning back. It’s an experience that stays with you.

Perfect Dishes to Make with Bucatini Pasta

Perfect Dishes to make with Bucatini Pasta

Bucatini pasta has a distinctive texture and hearty structure that make it an ideal candidate for a variety of dishes. Here are some delightful culinary examples where Bucatini was the star ingredient.

  1. Bucatini all’Amatriciana: This classic Roman dish has a distinct blend of tomatoes, pancetta (Italian bacon), and a pinch of red chili flakes. A powerful dish that unveils the robustness of the bucatini.
  2. Bucatini Carbonara: Breaking away from the typical use of spaghetti, a carbonara made with bucatini takes this creamy, egg and pancetta-based sauce to another level.
  3. Bucatini Ai Frutti di Mare: This dish heavily features seafood such as clams, shrimp, and squid – creating a delightful synergy where bucatini’s structure amplifies the seafood’s flavor.

Cooking Tips for Perfect Bucatini Pasta

At first glance, bucatini might seem a tall order to prepare. But, trust me, with a few simple tricks up your sleeve, you could have the perfect plate of bucatini.

  1. Cooking Al Dente: Bucatini takes a slightly longer cooking time than other pasta due to its thickness. So, always test by taking a small bite to ensure it has the perfect al dente texture.
  2. Salting the Water: You’ve probably heard this advice a million times, but it’s just as critical with bucatini. Salted water seasons the pasta internally as it absorbs the water as it cooks.
  3. Reserving Pasta Water: Don’t throw out the pasta water! Starchy, salty pasta water can help thicken and emulsify your sauce, giving a silkier finish to your dish.
  4. Rinsing the Pasta: Avoid rinsing your pasta (with exception to pasta salad). Rinsing removes the starchy coating – which actually helps to glue your sauce to the pasta.

By adhering to these simple tips, you’ll find yourself creating a perfect, mouth-watering plate of bucatini, every single time!

Also Read: What is Brooklyn Style Pizza?

Where Can you Buy Bucatini Pasta?

Where Can you Buy Bucatini Pasta?

You don’t need to have Italy at your doorstep to enjoy the rich and robust flavor of Bucatini. It’s easily available in most well-stocked grocery stores or specialty food markets. For a digital savvy foodie, you can conveniently order it online too. Many renowned sites like Amazon, Walmart or Italian Food Online Store have a wide range of bucatini pasta options to choose from, including gluten-free and whole wheat variants.

Here are a few recommendations for high-quality brands of Bucatini pasta:

  • De Cecco – Established in 1886, De Cecco is a beloved name in Italian pasta. Its Bucatini pasta is made using traditional methods, preserving the flavor and quality.
  • Rustichella d’Abruzzo – Handmade in Italy using locally harvested durum wheat semolina, this brand offers an incredibly authentic Bucatini experience.
  • Gustora – Gustora is known for producing high-quality pasta with an authentic Italian touch. Their Bucatini pasta is a must-try for all pasta lovers.

Please note, while we have provided links where possible, be sure to check shipping availability based on your location as this can vary.

Health Benefits of Bucatini Pasta

Often we’re told that pasta isn’t the healthiest of options, but Bucatini begs to differ. Just like other pasta types, Bucatini is a great source of carbohydrates, offering sustained energy. It’s also low in fat and, if you select whole wheat options, it can be a good source of fiber too.

But that’s not all. Did you know that pasta also carries other nutritional benefits?

Here is a quick rundown of the health benefits associated with Bucatini:

  • 1. Fills You Up: Bucatini, especially if it’s a whole wheat variety, can help keep you full for longer intervals, thanks to the dietary fiber content.
  • 2. Supports Digestive Health: Fiber aids in digestive health, helping to prevent constipation and promoting regularity for a healthy digestive tract.
  • 3. Can Be Part of a Healthy Diet: Though pasta often gets a bad rap in diet culture, bucatini can be a part of a balanced diet. Pair it with a lean protein and plenty of vegetables for a complete meal.
  • 4. Offers Essential Nutrients: Pasta also contains several mandatory nutrients like iron and several B-vitamins: namely folic acid, niacin, and riboflavin.

So, enjoying a plateful of Bucatini not only tickles your taste buds but also contributes beneficially to your health. Just remember, moderation is key to maintaining a balanced and healthy diet.

Also Read: Best Trader Joe’s Pasta Sauces

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Bucatini pasta made of?

Bucatini pasta is made from durum wheat semolina, which is a type of hard wheat. Mixed with water, these simple ingredients form the dough for Bucatini.

How does Bucatini pasta differ from spaghetti?

While they both appear to be long, thin noodles, the primary difference lies in their structure. Bucatini has a hollow center, which spaghetti does not. This allows sauces and seasonings to penetrate the pasta for more flavor.

What is the best way to cook Bucatini pasta?

Like other pasta, Bucatini should be cooked in a large pot of boiling, salted water. Cooking time can vary depending on the brand, but usually, it takes between 7-9 minutes for optimal texture.

In which dishes is Bucatini pasta typically used?

Bucatini is traditionally used in many Italian dishes. One of the most popular is Bucatini all’Amatriciana, a classic Roman dish featuring a savory sauce of guanciale (Italian cured pork), Pecorino Romano cheese, and tomatoes.

Why is Bucatini pasta sometimes hard to find?

While Bucatini is well-loved, it might not be as common as other types of pasta in some grocery stores. However, it’s become more popular in recent years and is available in many online stores and specialty Italian food shops.

How healthy is Bucatini pasta?

Bucatini pasta, like most pasta, is high in carbohydrates but also provides a good source of protein and fiber, especially if made from whole-wheat grains. It can be part of a balanced diet when paired with the right sauces and toppings.

Can I use Bucatini pasta in any recipe that calls for spaghetti?

Absolutely! Using Bucatini instead of spaghetti can add a delightful twist to your usual recipes, enhancing them with more robust flavor absorption thanks to its hollow center.


From its distinct tube-like structure and rich historical roots, to the plethora of dishes it enhances and the surprising health benefits it offers, Bucatini pasta certainly holds its own in the hierarchy of great noodles. Although the journey of getting to know Bucatini might have started with a simple question – what is Bucatini pasta? – it has taken us through the winding roads of Italy’s culinary past, while offering a tantalizing glimpse into its cultural soul.

Let’s continue celebrating this exceptional pasta form by incorporating Bucatini into our regular cooking routine, or ordering Bucatini-based dishes the next time we find ourselves at an Italian eatery. And remember, the joy of food lies in its discovery and sharing the love. So, keep exploring new flavors and sharing delicious meals made with this extraordinary pasta with your loved ones. Let Bucatini pasta guide you to culinary delights and gastronomic adventures that satisfy your taste buds and warm your heart!

Food Lover and Storyteller 🍽️✨ With a fork in one hand and a pen in the other, Shivani brings her culinary adventures to life through evocative words and tantalizing tastes. Her love for food knows no bounds, and she's on a mission to share the magic of flavors with fellow enthusiasts.
Related Articles from the same category:
This is a blog for Travellers & Travel Lovers
Copyright 2023 - All Rights Reserved.