Introducing: Bucatini

Do you have a favorite pasta shape that you tend to favor over all the others? I know, some pastas are just meant to go with certain dishes, like elbows or shells for Macaroni and Cheese and penne for Mostaccioli – but when you’re just making pasta with a simple sauce, do you usually lean towards long and skinny? short and twisty? small and curvy? Personally, I tend to reach for farfalle (bow ties) the most, I think sauce clings nicely and I enjoy the general shape. I absolutely love angel hair pasta, but for whatever reason, I often forget about its greatness. I rarely, however, crave spaghetti.

Last weekend when I was meandering through Trader Joe’s, I rediscovered one of my favorites: bucatini. Certainly a lesser-known pasta, I first heard about this delicious variety at a cooking class at Sur La Table. Bucatini is a wide, spaghetti-like noodle that is hollow through the middle. This makes it an especially good tool for trapping sauce within the pasta and it’s really fun to eat!

I must admit that we created the recipe before I even thought to submit it to Presto Pasta Nights, but now I’m thrilled to be able to share it!

We made our own red sauce from a large can of chopped tomatoes, some red wine and dried herbs. Simple and tasty.

For the pasta, I pan-fried a chicken breast that had been lightly salted and peppered while we defrosted some frozen broccoli in the microwave. When the chicken was ready, I chopped it into bite size pieces. Here it is, waiting patiently to be added to the sauce, with some freshly chopped basil by its side.

When everything was ready, we combined the sauce, noodles, broccoli and chicken, then added a nice amount of Parmesan for good measure. What made this dish so great was that the savory tomato sauce seeped its way into the middle of the noodles, so there was a nice bite of sauce with every forkful. If you haven’t tried cooking with bucatini yet, I highly recommend it!

This week’s Presto Pasta Nights – a wonderfully fun roundup that is the brainchild of Ruth at Once Upon a Feast – is being hosted at Closet Cooking by Kevin and will be posted this Friday. Don’t miss all the deliciousness!

Chicken Pasta with Tomato Sauce


1/2 pkg. bucatini pasta
1 chicken breast
1/4 C. fresh basil, chopped
1 C. grated Parmesan
2 C. frozen broccoli, defrosted

1 large can chopped or crushed tomatoes
1/4 C. red wine
1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano


Cook bucatini according to package directions, drain and set aside.

To make the sauce, add tomatoes and their juice, red wine, salt, pepper and oregano into a large saucepan. Heat on medium-high until bubbly and slightly reduced. The sauce should thicken a bit – about 15 minutes.

In the meantime, salt and pepper the chicken breast and cook in a small fry pan in about 1 Tbs. olive oil until done – about 5 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness.

When chicken is done, dice into small pieces. When all components are ready, combine in a large pot. Add half of the Parmesan and stir to combine. Add the rest of the Parmesan to finish and garnish with some small basil leaves.

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  • Hillary

    Oooh this looks good! I think I would love this kind of pasta if I tried it…the idea of the sauce being trapped inside the tubes sounds amazing.

    But my favorite so far is cavatappi…it’s spirals with ridges that catch the sauce quite well!

  • Erinn

    This looks fabulous! I was just looking into making Bucatini Amatriciana not too long ago.
    I just used Fusilli Lunghi Bucati (a gorgeous – and fun looking pasta) to go with some pesto I made. It was nice and toothy and would hold up to a hearty sauce quite well I imagine.
    Great post, thanks!

  • melissa

    I just fell in love with bucatini recently too! Good stuff. And your dish looks delicious, Maxine. :)

  • Kevin

    I have never had Bucatini… I am going to have to look for it! That pasta looks like it was easy to make and tasty. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights!

  • claudia (cook eat FRET)

    bucatini rocks…
    one of my faves

  • Lore

    Bucatini are way high on my pasta faves. This looks delicious!

  • Ruth

    I only discovered bucatini late last year and I love it. There’s something unique about the thick long strands and how well it plays with a wide variety of sauces. Thanks for sharing yours with Presto Pasta Nights. I always love your recipes.

    Two more weeks and you’re the host! Thanks.

  • Addie

    This was a favorite of my mother’s for Sunday dinner. I loved sucking on the individual strands as if they were straws. I served it to my children for quite a qhile until having four children playing with it at the table made for a red sauce mess. Just a small handful of strands of pasta can make the plate look full. We then went to linquini and finally down to penne or some other small pasta. You have no idea how children can find so many ways to make a mess under the guise of “just eating.”



  • Maxine

    Yadira – You can find bucatini at specialty food stores or at Trader Joe’s (that’s where I found mine). Let me know how it turns out – enjoy!

  • Nannette

    Where can I buy Bucatini Pasta?

  • James

    Bucatini is a fantastic pasta to cook with but just a heads up….the Einstein’s at Trader Joe’s have discontinued this product due to “low sales”, at least on the west coast. This may be true but it’s a shame to see their pasta selection shrink even more.

  • Emanuela

    God almighty, how can you even think about it? I’m italian and I’m shivering inside… Learn to cook a good sauce from the scratch, (no red wine is needed for example)then make experiments, but…bucatini need a good amatriciana sauce!

  • Emanuela

    and here in Italy, by the way, Mostaccioli are NOT a kind of pasta, but typical little cakes!!!




    my grandchild love it but we cann`t find bucatini pasta any place around

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