Little Holed Ones

Have you taken a walk down the Italian foods aisle in your local grocery store lately? Don’t just stroll through and grab a jar of Ragu and a box of elbow macaroni. Stop and take a look at all of the varieties of pasta available. I guarantee you that there will be many more varieties missing than you find, but you’ll still see several dozen.

The recipe below calls for Bucatini (thick spaghetti length noodles that are hollow) but my store didn’t have them so I subbed in simple spaghetti. It did make me wonder about the possible ones out there. Most pasta have Italian names that when translated give a description of the noodle. Here are a few interesting ones:

  • Spaghetti – “Little Twines”
  • Bucatini – “Little Holed Ones”
  • Vermicelli – “Little Worms” (I guess it is better than big worms!”
  • Fusilli lunghi – “Long Rifles”
  • Linguine – “Little Tongues”
  • Calamarata – “Squid-Like”
  • Gemelli – “Twins”
  • Campanelle – “Little Bells”
  • Farfalle – “Butterflies”
  • Lumache – “Snails”

I’m not sure that if I knew the translation that every form of pasta would be as appetizing.

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I could not find bucatini, so I used the old stand by – spaghetti.

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Really look for the San Marzano tomatoes. They are worth it.

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In the food processor.

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Pesto is made.

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Shrimp getting floured.

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With the noodles.

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Frying the shrimp.

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A delicious feast!

Bucatini With Pesto and Shrimp

Prep Time: 0 hours 20 minutes | Cook Time: 0 hours 20 minutes | Makes: 6 servings | Difficulty: Easy


  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups drained canned San Marzano tomatoes (about 8 tomatoes)
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cups packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for frying and drizzling
  • 1 pound bucatini or spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup instant flour (such as Wondra)
  • 1 pound extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, make the pesto: Process the tomatoes, basil, mint, almonds, garlic, orange zest and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor until combined. With the motor running, gradually add 1/3 cup olive oil in a steady stream and blend to make a coarse pesto, scraping down the sides of the processor as needed. Transfer the pesto to a large bowl; do not wash out the processor.

Add the bucatini to the boiling water and cook as the label directs. Meanwhile, heat about 1/4 inch of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Put the flour in a shallow dish. Season the shrimp with 1/2 teaspoon salt, then dredge in the flour. Fry the shrimp in 2 batches until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.

Remove the pasta with tongs (reserve the cooking water) and transfer to the bowl with the pesto; toss to coat. If the pasta seems dry, rinse the food processor with 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water and add to the pasta, a little at a time. Season with salt. Add the cheese and toss. Drizzle the pasta with olive oil and divide among bowls; top with the shrimp.


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Categories: Italian, Pasta, Recipes, Seafood

Author:The Ranting Chef

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5 Comments on “Little Holed Ones”

  1. August 15, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    I recently posted a recipe using gemelli pasta, so I knew the translation for that one. (“Twins” in French is “jumelle” (for girls) & jumeau (for boys). I know that because I gave birth to “jumeau” while living in Quebec ! That’s for posting the translations of different types of pasta – interesting !! As always, this recipe looks wonderful… I have a question though – about the mint – I just can’t wrap my head around the idea of mint – esp. 2 cups. Do you think it would still be good if I left out the mint?


    • August 15, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

      I think so. I am not a huge mint fan and didn’t use all two cups. I think it might work without.


  2. August 15, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    Wow this looks amazing!


  3. August 15, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

    I have to try this without the shrimp! Thanks for the recipe 🙂


  4. August 20, 2013 at 7:58 am #

    Education and a yummy recipe!
    Great blog!


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