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21 Bucatini Recipes That'll Make It Your New Favorite Noodle

Italian pasta is an American favorite. It's easy to cook and there are so many kinds of dishes you can make with pasta, including your leftover spaghetti. What you pair your pasta with, whether it's a simple tomato sauce, pesto or a variety of meat and vegetables, depends on the shape of your pasta. One of our favorite pasta shapes is bucatini.

Bucatini is essentially a thick spaghetti noodle with a hole through the center. Like many Italian noodles, bucatini takes its name from its shape. In Italian, "buco" means "hole." So why should you love a noodle with hollow center? Simple - the mouthfeel on these long and lovely strips of carbs is unmatchable.

Like all pasta, it's best when cooked in a large pot full of salted boiling water. The total time you cook bucatini is generally 10 minutes, but it's done when the pasta is al dente, so keep checking. If you plan to finish your pasta in the large skillet where you're making your sauce, keep that cook time in mind for your pasta doneness. Drain the pasta well, but save some of the pasta water; some pasta recipes use the pasta cooking water to help the sauce come together.

Your pasta sauce can be as easy as butter, lemon juice, black pepper and parmigiano-reggiano. Or toss the bucatini in a handful of toasted pancetta, drizzle on some extra virgin olive oil and grate pecorino romano cheese on the top. Almost anything you choose to do with these noodles will be delicious, so have fun and be creative.

Need some ideas to try bucatini? Here are 20 great ones.

1. Chicken Tetrazzini 

Carbs, chicken, cream, and mushrooms topped with a cream sauce with a crunchy panko topping. What could be a more satisfying dish to welcome fall? This long pasta is a hidden Italy secret.

Get the recipe here.

2. Winter Pesto + Sweet Potatoes Bucatini

There are so many colors blended into this pasta dish that you would think you're enjoying summer's bounty if it weren't for the fall flavors.

Get the recipe here.

3. Spicy Shrimp + Arugula + Breadcrumbs

Lighten things up with the clean flavor of shrimp and a peppery kick of arugula. Of course, you can't forget to top your carbs with, well, more carbs. So welcome those crispy breadcrumbs! Who needs linguine, fusiili or fettuccine when you've got bucatini!

Get the recipe here.

4. Meatball + Sweet Pepper Bucatini

The power that frozen food gives you in the kitchen really shines in this dish. From freezer to table in 30 min. Say hello to one of your new favorite weeknight meals. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes to bring it over the top.

Get the recipe here.

5. Bucatini All'Amatriciana

This dish is part of the 'Romulus and Remus' duo of Roman cooking. The other half being spaghetti alla carbonara. In English, however, we might simply call this dish classic comfort.

Get the recipe here.

6. BLT Bucatini Pasta Salad

Why shouldn't you use long, gangly noodles in your pasta salad? You know it's going to be fun to eat.

Get the recipe here.

7. Bucatini with Lacinato Kale

This recipe is basically an excuse to claim that you're eating greens with your otherwise buttery and indulgent pasta

Get the recipe here.

8. Bucatini with Sausage and Kale

With only five ingredients - including lots of garlic and parmesan - this hearty dish not only makes a great dinner, but leftovers are perfect to take to work the next day.

Get the recipe here.

9. Bucatini Puttanesca 

For those who like a briny, tangy puttanesca sauce, this recipe is a must-try. When paired with hearty, chewy noodles, this classic Roman dish tastes like it was upgraded. If that is even possible.

Get the recipe here.

10. Bucatini alla pizzaiola

This pizza-themed pasta bake is bursting with the traditional flavors of Neapolitan pizza. At least that is before pizza alla Margherita dethroned it as the classic vegetarian alternative.

Get the recipe here.

11. Dad's Bucatini Pie

Live life on the edge - bake your favorite type of pasta into a pie with an outrageous amount of parmesan. Go ahead, do it.

Get the recipe here.

12. Eggplant + Tomato Bucatini

Italians are particularly fond of eggplant. Don't deprive yourself of this essential ingredient. Start incorporating it into your pasta immediately and add

Get the recipe here.

13. Charred Cauliflower Carbonara

Cauliflower roasted in bacon grease is heaven on earth. When you add it to pasta it's basically like transporting yourself to Nirvana.

Get the recipe here.

14. Bacon + Egg + Brussels Carbonara

This fall's latest spin on breakfast for dinner.

Get the recipe here.

15. Bucatini Carbonara

Up the ante on a classic Italian dish. Who knew that improving spaghetti carbonara was as easy as changing up the noodles?

Get the recipe here.

16. Bucatini with Nettle-Pecan Pesto

Surprise! Did you know that you could eat nettles? Yep, these pesky stinging plants are actually like a sexier version of spinach when cooked. Try it out.

Get the recipe here.

17. Arugula + Almond Pesto + Heirloom Tomatoes

In this recipe, it's difficult to decide if the fresh ingredients or the colorful presentation are the most appealing aspect of the dish.

Get the recipe here.

18. Pesto + Burrata Bucatini

Bright pesto paired with cream-filled mozzarella on a pasta that has so much mouthfeel, the result is unbelievable. You won't even be sad there's no meat.

Get the recipe here.

19. Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo

Sun-dried tomato Alfredo sauce on hearty bucatini. This simple 5-ingredient recipe just tastes oh so gourmet.

Get the recipe here.

20. Bucatini Chicken Confit

What happens when a French classic and an Italian staple meet on the same plate? This dish.

Get the recipe here.

21. Hearty Bucatini Bolognese

Warm up your stomach and your heart with this thick pasta dish that is slowly cooked to flavorful perfection.

Get the recipe here.

READ MORE: Learn the Proper Pasta Serving Sizes to Save Money and Water