Rules are meant to be broken, and so is this extra-long bucatini lunghi from Setaro. When we say extra-long, we mean it: This pasta measures 22 inches in length! It’s an old-fashioned style that only a few pasta makers keep alive today. Before machines made it simple to cut pasta to consistent sizes, pasta would be hung to dry at whatever length the dough created. They were sold with the intention that home cooks would break them up to suit their needs; in Naples, the cracking sound of pasta being broken for Sunday dinner would echo through the streets.
At first glance, bucatini looks like a chunkier spaghetti. But look closer, and you’ll see that it’s hollow—the name is derived from the Italian word buco (“hole”). In addition to soaking up a sauce for extra-flavorful bites, its hollow center also ensures that the thick pasta cooks evenly inside and out.
Since 1939, the Setaro family has been making pasta on a winding street in Torre Annunziata in Naples. Their factory is on the same street, in fact, where Giada's grandfather once made his own pasta. The semolina flour they use is minimally processed, creating a more flavorful product than those commonly found in the U.S. The company air-dries its pasta in the cool, salt-tinged breezes that blow in through wild rosemary bushes from the Mediterranean coast, a practice that makes for a delightfully chewy finished product.