Giada De Laurentiis' Bold Secret Ingredient For Bucatini Pasta

Leave it to Italian-American chef Giada de Laurentiis to figure out a way to make pasta even tastier. The television personality's lifestyle platform and online marketplace, Giadzy, recently took to Instagram to share a clever secret ingredient for crafting a more flavorful plate of bucatini: miso. 

A staple ingredient in Japanese cuisine, miso is a thick paste traditionally made by combining fermented soybeans, koji — or malted rice, and salt. Of course, there are many different variations of miso, and each one has its own signature flavor. However, the average miso typically features a flavor profile similar to that of soy sauce — albeit far more complex. The salty, umami powerhouse is often used in classic Asian dishes like vegetable miso soup as well as in salad dressings, sauces, and stir-fries, among many other tasty applications.

In terms of Giadzy's savory pasta, the flavors of the rich paste marries those of the thick, spaghetti-like bucatini noodles and crispy pancetta (salt-cured pork belly meat) for a delectable Michelin star-worthy meal you'll be crooning over long after your last bite. Add a touch of miso paste the next time you make bucatini ricci di mare for a bonus umami oomph that enhances the uni.

Add miso to bucatini for umami pasta

In Giadzy's Instagram post, the Italian-infused brand noted the bucatini dish was "so full of flavor" that you could even skip topping it with parmesan cheese — though you don't have to. When it comes to making this savory recipe, be sure not to toss out your pancetta fat because it is essential for whipping up this hearty dish. Oh, and don't pour out your pasta water, another one of Giada de Laurentiis' go-to secrets for cooking perfect pasta, either — because it will come in very handy, too, when crafting a luxurious sauce.

Once you've crisped the diced pieces of pork belly meat to perfection, all you have to do is remove them from the pan and add butter to the leftover fat. Once melted, whisk in a bit of your liquid gold, aka pasta water, and some miso paste into the buttery fat blend. Add some baby spinach into the mix, toss your bucatini into the sauce, top with the browned pancetta, and you're ready to dig in. Sharing is optional.

Giada's other pasta cooking tips

The queen of "Everyday Italian" is no doubt a trusted source for cooking pasta to perfection. In addition to using leftover pasta water to thicken your sauce, some of her other pasta-making tips include the most obvious rules of Italian cooking: Always cook your noodles al dente, and don't break your pasta noodles. Instead of snapping them into two, simply let them soften and fall into the pot of boiling water on their own. She does suggest picking a tall pot for long pasta and a short pot for smaller pasta and using a wooden spoon to help things along (per YouTube).

Another one of De Laurentiis' pro tips: Go heavy on the salt when seasoning your pasta water. In her own words, shared via TikTok, you want to "make it taste like the sea." Another major no-no? Don't add oil to your boiling water. It will only make it harder for the sauce to stick to the noodles. 


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And while you may be tempted to rinse your pasta after draining your noodles, the celebrity chef says this will only wash away valuable starch — another must-need ingredient for helping your sauce stick to your pasta. By putting De Laurentiis' cooking hacks into practice, you'll be able to level up your pasta like a pro.