On first glance, this bucatini from Setaro 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”). This straw-like shape has a clever double purpose: In addition to soaking up sauce for extra-flavorful bites, the hollow center also ensures that the thick pasta cooks evenly inside and out. In some parts of southern Italy, this shape is known as perciatelli, from perciato, or “pierced.” It was traditionally made by rolling dough around a rush or a thin wooden rod, which was carefully withdrawn before hanging the pasta to dry.
Today, it’s produced on specially designed bronze dies in the Setaro family factory. Since 1939, they have 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.