Nonna's Boiled Bucatini with Balsamella


1 package bucatini (500g)
2 table
spoons sea salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk (or water if you don't use milk)
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and ground black pepper to taste


  • Break the bucatini in pieces about 2 inches long.
  • Use large kettle with boiling water (about 5 to 6 litres), add 2 tablespoons of sea salt; throw in the bucatini and boil rapidly 15 to 20 minutes or cook according to package directions.
  • Put cooked bucatini into a colander to drain, return to the kettle and cover.
  • In a heavy saucepan, over medium heat, rub 2 tablespoons of butter and flour together until smooth, add either milk or water until the sauce is as thick as rich cream. 
  • Turn heat off. Stir in the grated Parmigiano cheese, ground black pepper and pinch of nutmeg. Taste, add more salt if desired and mix well before pouring sauce over the bucatini.
  • Serve immediately with your favourite vegetable salad.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Real Cooking

Did You Know?
Many pasta types are made of the same pasta dough and differ only in the shape of the pieces. However, the shape usually affects cooking time, consistency, ability to hold sauce, ease of eating, etc. Therefore, certain shapes are better suited for certain dishes, and such pairings may be part of certain cooking traditions.

A widely noted, finished consistency of pasta is called al dente (Italian for to the tooth), soft but with texture, sometimes even with bite in the center.

Pasta is categorized in two basic styles: dried and fresh. Dried pasta made without eggs can be stored for up to two years under ideal conditions, while fresh pasta will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator.