Bucatini Pasta with Spinach, Bacon, and Buttery Garlic Parmesan Sauce is an easy Italian dinner! This simple weeknight meal takes 30 minutes! Creamy pasta is seasoned with coarsely ground black pepper.
Bucatini: Italian pasta
- Bucatini is a beautiful thick and long pasta with the hole running through its center. It’s perfect when cooked al dente and combined with a buttery cream sauce.
- Bucatini made with spinach and bacon and smothered in a buttery Parmesan sauce is perfect comfort food for a weeknight dinner. Bacon and pasta always make a great combination – just take a look at my favorite chicken bacon pasta. The creamy sauce is super simple and is made with cream and shredded Parmesan cheese. Coarsely ground black pepper adds amazing texture and flavor.
- Bucatini is similar to spaghetti and linguine and can be used interchangeably in the recipes. For example, you can make this linguine with spinach and sun-dried tomato sauce using bucatini with excellent results! Another recipe that will work great with bucatini is chicken broccoli pasta.
- If you wish to make this bucatini pasta more substantial, add some protein. Serve this easy seared chicken or Mediterranean chicken with bucatini pasta. If you like seafood, you can add pesto shrimp or seared scallops.
Bucatini with the buttery garlic cream sauce
- Creamy Parmesan sauce made with butter and garlic. This comforting homemade sauce is rich and buttery – perfect for bucatini! And, it’s so easy to make! First, cook garlic with butter. Then, add cream and shredded Parmesan cheese and stir until the creamy sauce forms.
- Coarsely ground black pepper is the best type of pepper to use with this pasta. It adds texture and richer flavor!
- Bacon. Chopped cooked bacon is added to creamy and buttery bucatini at the very end. It adds flavor and saltiness. You can also use pancetta or prosciutto.
- 30-minute recipe. There is nothing difficult about this recipe. The cream sauce is very basic, and the ingredients are simple.
What is bucatini?
- Bucatini is an Italian pasta that has a hollow center in the middle of each noodle. It looks similar to spaghetti but the noodles are noticeably thicker.
- Bucatini is popular in Lazio region of Italy, particularly in Rome (the capital of Lazio).
- Bucatini is typically served with buttery sauce, vegetables, cured pork (such as pancetta or guanciale).
- Popular dishes made with this type of pasta are Bucatini all’Amatriciana, Bucatini alla Carbonara, Bucatini Cacio E Pepe.
Fun fact: “Buco” means “hole” in Italian.
Bucatini vs Spaghetti
- Bucatini and Spaghetti look very similar. Both are long, thin, cylindrical pasta.
- One big difference is that bucatini is thicker than spaghetti.
- Another noticeable difference is that there is a hole running in the middle of each bucatini noodle. There is no hole in spaghetti noodles.
How long do you cook bucatini?
- Cook bucatini in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes.
- To prepare bucatini al dente, cook bucatini in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes less than indicated on the package instructions.
- What can you use instead of bucatini? Use spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine pasta.
- What is a good substitution for Parmesan cheese? Use Asiago cheese, shredded Mozzarella, or Pecorino Romano.
- What can you substitute for bacon? Use pancetta, prosciutto, or smoked ham.
- Don’t have spinach? You can replace spinach with arugula or kale.
What to substitute for half-and-half?
- Substitute 1/2 cup of milk + 1/2 cup of heavy cream for 1 cup of half-and-half.
What sauce goes well with bucatini?
- Amatriciana sauce is a traditional Italian sauce made with tomatoes, pecorino cheese, and guanciale (cured pork). Garlic, black pepper, or chili pepper are also used in this pasta sauce. Bucatini served with this classic sauce is called Bucatini all’Amatriciana.
- Marinara sauce is a great, simple tomato-based sauce to serve with bucatini pasta.
- Bolognese sauce is a meat-based sauce usually made with tomatoes, onion, celery, and carrots. Often, white wine and milk are used. The sauce originates from Bologna, Italy. Here is an excellent recipe for Bolognese pasta with sausage.
- Carbonara sauce is made with eggs, cream, and Parmesan cheese. It’s one of the best pasta sauces to use with bucatini.
- Vodka cream sauce is made with tomatoes, vodka, garlic, cream, and Parmesan cheese. This creamy sauce is perfect for coating bucatini pasta. Try this vodka cream sauce with mushrooms.
- Alfredo sauce is a great choice for bucatini. Here is the recipe for chicken broccoli alfredo that you can use with bucatini, with or without chicken.
Side dishes for bucatini
- Bread. Serve Baguette, Italian garlic bread, or olive bread.
- Fresh tomato salad. Make this tomato cucumber avocado salad or tomato mozzarella salad.
- Simple spinach salad. Make a spinach salad drizzled with olive oil, black pepper, and shredded Parmesan cheese.
Other pasta recipes that work well with bucatini
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 2/3 cup parmesan cheese shredded
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 oz spinach
- 8 oz bucatini
- 6 strips bacon cooked, chopped
- black pepper coarsely ground
- In a large skillet, heat butter on medium heat. Add minced garlic. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute.
- Add half-and-half and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer. Add shredded Parmesan cheese. Keep stirring, while simmering, for a couple of minutes, until the cheese melts, and the sauce is creamy.
- Stir in spinach. Remove from heat. Close the skillet with the lid. The spinach will wilt.
- In the meantime, cook bucatini pasta in boiling water according to package instructions. It should be about 10 minutes for regular texture, or 8 minutes al dente. Reserve some pasta water. Drain.
Add cooked bucatini pasta to the skillet with the cream sauce. Reheat on medium-low heat. The sauce should be pretty thick and should coat the noodles. If the sauce is too thick, add a small amount of pasta water (1/4 cup) to thin it out.
- Add chopped cooked bacon.
- Season each individual serving plate with coarsely ground black pepper.