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Why bucatini?

Why does this pasta exist? It takes 13 minutes to cook, and then it throws sauce all over the place.

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  1. Couldn't agree more! I thought it was the less-than-bellissima pasta I use at home and then have had the sauce-throwing (thanks!) experience in restaurants. I'm curious to see more informative replies.

    1. I love the stuff. It goes great with a hardy Bolognese or Amatriciana.

      1. How about a dryer sauce/dressing? Something with toasted breadcrumbs and grated cheese that would stick to the pasta is good. I like bucatini for sentimental reasons, having seen a lot of it at home as a child, but when I want it, I try to do dry "sauce."

        1. Haven't had the problem, myself. What sauce(s)?

          9 Replies
            1. re: monfrancisco

              That's the sauce I used the only time I used bucatini. Don't recall a special problem.

              That said, it occurs to me that even with regular spaghetti or linguine, I had to accept a personal truth years ago: it is literally impossible for me to eat pasta with red sauce while wearing a white shirt without some evidence of it ending up on the shirt.

              So maybe I'm just a slob!

              p.s., solution is no white shirts.

              1. re: Bada Bing

                A while back, I was roundly mocked for posting on a thread initiated by someone who was planning on serving spaghetti with tomato sauce at a dinner party. I suggested that the OP's invite include a suggestion that guests dress down and avoid wearing light colors or dry-clean only clothing.

                As to bucatini, the water that gets inside the tubular strands during cooking seems able to cling there until the pasta is on the fork, at which point, having joined forces with tomato and oil, it launches its aerial attack on the person consuming it! It's certainly the sloppiest of all pasta shapes.

                1. re: greygarious

                  One reason why that pasta was one of my faves as a kid.

                  Strangely, we called 'em macaroni in Germany.

                  1. re: linguafood

                    I don't see it as often as I did growing up 40+ yrs ago, but American supermarkets then sold a "macaroni", as the box was labeled, that was spaghetti-length tubular pasta with the internal and external circumferences (circumferi?) of elbow macaroni. My friend's mother used it for her mac&cheese, which was something I loved but which my German-born mother had never had until I pestered her to get the neighbor's recipe. For some reason, I preferred the mouth, feel of fork-cuts of the longer macaroni to that of the elbows. Still do.

                    1. re: linguafood

                      A lot of Italian-American families in decades past called all pasta "macaroni." I think it was just understood that different shapes would arise for different preparations.

                      1. re: Bada Bing

                        Yes, but in my German family, we knew the difference between macaroni and spaghetti -- or tortellini, or farfalle, and we called them what they were.

                        So.... that doesn't apply to us :-)

                    2. re: greygarious

                      Spaghetti and bucatini are different pastas, one being longer, more pliable and has no hole in the middle.
                      I've no problem with telling guest that they may want to choose clothing that they don't mind getting stained, but would reserve that for cracking crabs, not spaghetti pasta.

                      1. re: greygarious

                        Very true. The first time I ever ate bucatini was on a business trip in Rome, dining out with a local colleague. I was impressed by the fact that the restaurant thoughtfully provided large paper bibs for anyone who ordered it.

                2. Knuck -- you can pass your portion[s] over to me.
                  It's my favourite shape.
                  Of course, I prefer it in soup, with a broth--
                  It's a broth-straw!!

                  1. Definitely a favorite of mine.

                    When you have a few bucatini left at the bottom of your dish (along with a nice pool
                    of sauce), take your fork and cut them up into 1/2-inch strands. What you've now done is create this starchy comfort food you can really delight in. Just grab a spoon and go. You'll love it !! The bucatini are more manageable and tastier too this way.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Cheese Boy

                      I agree- if you're deathly afraid of staining your clothing, feel free to cut your bowl of past and eat with a spoon or fork.
                      Tastes the same!

                    2. Agreed. Messy to eat. Hard to spear with the fork. PITA

                      1. I love it and perciatelli too, which, I guess, is very similar. Love those long chewy strands. It's all about the substantial texture. Very fond memories from childhood Sunday dinners after Mass. Not too much sauce. Lots of fresh grated Romano. Maybe it's an Italian-American thing.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: boppiecat

                          We ate pasta around 1pm or 2pm on Sunday AND we always watched an episode of Abbott and Costello too. I fondly remember watching TWIB [This Week in Baseball] on Sundays also. My task for that day was to grate the cheese. It was the same almost every week, Pecorino Romano, but
                          if we were really lucky, we would get treated to Locatelli brand (Pecorino) or better yet, a bigger treat, Reggiano (Parmigiano). Great, great times.


                        2. Why not bucatini was my first response? It doesn' take 13 minutes to cook--in fact, takes less time than other forms thanks to the hole, so watch the pot--and can be managed at the plate with just a little attention. I love em with any sauce, really, and that sauce shouldn't be so wet as to fly around. Amatriciana, yes, but also with cauliflower, garlic, and toasted breadcrumbs or as pasta cu sarde, the Sicilian sardine and fennel and sauce. Growing up in Italian Brooklyn in the 50s, we also talked about "spaghetti and macaroni," the latter covering all other cuts, usually short ones. And ate bucatini happily and easily with only minimal splatter.

                          1 Reply
                          1. I really like the texture of bucatini. Very interesting "chew" to the pasta. Use thick sauces with it.

                            1. I love bucatini, it's my favorite. I confess that I break it into half-lengths though *ducks*. (but I truly think this capitalizes on the wonderful quality of bucatini, spaghetti with a hole in the middle! If it's shorter, more sauce oozes inside!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Teague

                                I love bucatini (and perciatelle)! Don't know why, I just do....I think because of the extra sauce it sops up. My husband's family always made a little fun that I wanted a bit of extra sauce in my bowl; this way none was ever left to make me look bad.

                              2. It's my favorite of the long pastas- I love the texture, and somehow I manage without a mess.

                                There is a baked recipe I've used for years that calls for leftover bucatini, but I always make fresh since I've never had any left over:)

                                1. Bucatini is one of my favorite pastas, especially because it's relatively rare (at least around here). I agree that it makes a huge mess every time, but I love the texture and mouth-feel, and bucatini all'amatriciana is my favorite pasta dish.

                                  I also like spaghettoni (REALLY thick, round spaghetti), which is even rarer and probably even messier.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                                    I find "amatriciana" pasta at Home Goods on the not so rare occasion, and always grab a bag or two.
                                    It spurns me on to make the dish pretty quickly!

                                  2. Would you prefer mafalde? I love!

                                    1. Reading the OP's post again, I have to chuckle and riff on an expression: Bucatini doesn't throw sauce, people throw sauce.

                                      1. Never been a fan either, give me some capellini or penne rigate anyday