What’s the Difference Between Pici and Bucatini Pasta?

Italian cuisine is famous for its diverse kinds of pasta, and among the countless options, pici and bucatini are two notable choices. 

Hailing from different regions of Italy, pici and bucatini showcase distinct characteristics in terms of shape, texture, and culinary applications. 

In this blog post, you’ll learn how both kinds of pasta, pici and bucatini, differ from each other. This article sheds light on their unique qualities and origins to help you select the perfect pasta for your culinary endeavors.

What is Pici?

Pici pasta, pronounced as  /ˈpi.t͡ʃi/; originated in Siena, Tuscany, and was traditionally made by shepherds rolling out the dough with their fingers. The name “pici” likely comes from the Tuscan word “piccare,” meaning “to pierce.”

Evidence suggests that pici pasta dates back to the Etruscans in the 8th century BC. Today, pici pasta remains popular in Tuscany, served in restaurants and made at home using various recipes.

Pici pasta is made from a simple dough of flour and water, and it is characterized by its thick, rustic shape. Pici pasta is typically served with hearty sauces, such as tomato-based sauces or meat sauces.

Here are some of the unique characteristics of pici pasta:

  • It features an epic, rustic look made by hand. Unlike most pasta varieties, pici pasta does not require special tools or machines for its preparation. The pasta dough is rolled and elongated by hand, giving it a unique rustic appearance and texture.
  • It’s thick and chewy. Pici pasta is thicker than most other types of pasta, which gives it a chewy and satisfying texture. Therefore, it’s a good choice for hearty sauces that need something to cling to.
  • It has an irregular shape. Pici pasta is not perfectly uniform in shape, which adds more to its rustic charm. The thickness and length of each piece of pici pasta can vary slightly, which gives the pasta a more interesting visual appeal.
  • It’s a versatile pasta. Pici pasta can be served with various sauces, both simple and complex. It’s a good choice for tomato sauces, meat sauces, and even cream sauces.

What is Bucatini Pasta?

Bucatini is a type of long pasta with a hollow center, hailing from the Lazio region of Italy, specifically Rome. The name “bucatini” comes from the Italian word “buco,” which means “hole.”

The hole running through the center gives bucatini a unique texture and flavor, making it a good choice for certain types of sauces. The dough for bucatini is similar to that of traditional pasta, usually comprising semolina flour and water.

Here are some of the unique characteristics of bucatini pasta:

  • It has a hollow center, which allows sauces to flow through the pasta. This is why bucatini is a good choice for creamy or oily sauces, such as carbonara or cacio e pepe.
  • It’s thick and chewy. Bucatini is thicker than spaghetti, which gives it a chewy and satisfying texture. This makes it a good choice for hearty sauces that need something to cling to.
  • Versatile: Bucatini can be served with a variety of sauces, both simple and complex. It is a good choice for tomato sauces, meat sauces, and even cream sauces.

If you are looking for a unique and flavorful pasta to try, bucatini is a great option. It is a hearty and satisfying pasta that is sure to please.


When deciding between pici and bucatini, consider the flavor profile you wish to achieve and the type of sauce you plan to pair with the pasta. 

Pici’s thick and chewy texture goes well with robust and meaty sauces. 

On the other hand, the Bucatini pasta’s hollow center is great for sauces that need to cover the pasta and seep inside, giving it a special texture.

Ultimately, personal preference and the specific dish you wish to create will guide your choice. Experiment with both pici and bucatini freely to create memorable pasta dishes that reflect the flavors and traditions of Italy.

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Cashmere Muhammad
Cashmere Muhammad

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