A Gourmet Guide to Bucatini Pasta
Bucatini Pasta has ancient roots leading back to central Italy. People living in Rome and around were particularly fond of this special type of pasta, and it became an essential ingredient in Italy’s national cuisine. The name ‘bucatini’ comes from the Italian word ‘buco’ which means ‘hole’, and it is sometimes spelled ‘buccatini’.
The long and hollow shape makes it the ideal pasta choice for hearty and rustic dishes such as traditional sauces and farmers’ favourite meals. They are made from durum wheat which becomes nice and chewy in the cooking process. It can be purchased dried or fresh and develops a great elasticity after it is cooked.
Bucatini pasta is roughly as long as the average spaghetti but has a larger diameter. The hollow centre adds to the wonderful ‘al dente’ consistency and this flavorous variety of pasta perfectly compliments rich and viscid sauces. Traditionally, bucatini pasta is served with a sauce called ‘Amatriciana’, a blend of tomatoes, pancetta and a mild type of chilli. Nowadays is it also often used with other tomato based sauces, as well as vegetarian and cheese dishes. It is also great for carbonara-type sauces, olive oil and caprese variations with ricotta or goat cheese. Due to its thickness and heavy taste, bucatini pasta is also served with meat dishes, particularly with sauces that contain minced meat, Italian salsiccia (type of sausage) or bacon.
Tomato or basil pesto is also a quick solution for a nice bucatini recipe. For a very simple dish, merely mix fresh herbs with melted butter and pour it over the cooked bucatini – pasta making has never been easier and the taste is straightforward and truly delicious. They are also a great way to spice up plain minestrone recipes by simply cutting them into chunks and adding them to the soup. Similar to macaroni, bucatini are also perfect for oven baked dishes such as casseroles or gratins. The thickness is very popular because it enables any chef to create a firm and hearty pasta dish.
Bucatini pasta is not necessarily available everywhere because spaghetti and macaroni are still the more popular varieties. Famous international brands such as Barilla have launched a bucatini range and it can be ordered from Italian specialty stores as well as online. If there is simply no way to find them, it is possible to use similar types of pasta instead such as perciatelli and maccheroncelli. These are in the same ‘pasta family’ and have the same long, hollow shape. Just like all types of pasta, it should be kept in a cool, dry place and should not be exposed to sunlight.
But who says that bucatini pasta must be bought in a shop? Why not make your own! There are several companies, such as Kenwood, that sell food processors, pasta rollers and other types of pasta machinery that are very practical for fans of home-made noodles. A special tool enables the production of hollow types such as bucatini and macaroni. The recipe is very easy and the dough is made by simply mixing durum wheat with water and a hint of salt according to taste.
To spice up to the usual boring looking pasta, why not add a natural colorant such as spinach, beetroot juice or saffron to make the bucatini green, red or bright yellow? It is even possible to make black pasta by using squid ink which can be purchased in shops. When the dough is made and the pasta shaped, it should be dried for a while and can then be placed in boiling water. To finish the dish, add your favourite home made sauce. Ecco fatto! - Your very own bucatini pasta meal.