Busiate is a type of pasta originally from Trapani in western Sicily. Make this special, eggless pasta at home with my foolproof instructions!
This pasta is sturdy enough for a robust, meat ragu. However because it is eggless like cavatelli, it is also light enough for pesto style sauces. In fact, in Trapani it is served with their own version of pesto using tomatoes and almonds!
Why you’ll love this recipe
Making pasta by hand is like nothing else. This is a task which forces you to slow down and take your time. Listen to music or chat to those around you while forming the shapes. Make it a family event with everyone joining in around the table.
Pasta has always been an integral part of my life. As children, my sister and I always helped with the pasta making and I have endeavoured to always include my children as well. Making pasta was just part of growing up in an Italian family.
This handmade pasta, just like garganelli, is never perfect because each piece is individually made. There is a wonderful texture to this pasta that the store bought variety can never replicate. Pesto or ragu are ideal to coat this pasta and gets caught in the many twirls.
About this pasta
This interesting pasta is shaped using a thin stick. That’s how it got it’s name. Busiate is derived from the “buso” which is a dried wooden reed used to form it in Trapani.
This is an eggless pasta so all you need is flour and water. Yes, that’s it! Not even salt!
All the equipment you need for this recipe is a long wooden skewers. Have several so that family and friends can join in!
Make the dough by combining the flour and water to form a smooth and supple dough then set it aside to rest.
To form the busiate
- Pinch off a small amount of dough and roll a sausage shape approximately ⅓inch/7.5mm thick.
- Place your wooden skewer at the end of the dough on an angle (approx 45º) and press onto the dough slightly to stick
- Start rolling the skewer with your hands so the dough wraps around.
- Once wrapped roll the skewer backwards and forwards with your hands until the busiato thins and lengthens. Slide the busiato off the skewer with your hands and place it onto a slightly floured tray.
Continue until all the dough is used.
Tips for Success and FAQ’s
There is only flour and water in this dough so there is not a lot that can go wrong. If it’s too dry, add a little water. If it’s too wet, add a little more flour.
Forming the dough can be a little trickier but it’s not actually that hard. Be sure to wind the dough around the skewer and the press and roll to thin and lengthen. This forms the shape correctly. Just slide the coil off the skewer. Don’t try to unwind it.
- Be sure to wind the dough around the skewer and the press and roll to thin and lengthen. This forms the shape correctly.
- Just slide the coil off the skewer. Don’t try to unwind it.
- If the pasta sticks to the skewer, gently roll the skewer in the opposite directions that it was rolled. This will help detach it.
- Cooking time will vary depending on how thick you have rolled the pasta. Check doneness by tasting.
Be sure to boil in well salted water because there is no salt in this dough.
Dry the pasta for 30-60 minutes if not using immediately. Then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.
This updated recipe was published on April 17, 2013.
- 2 cups (260g) all purpose (plain) flour
- ½ cup (125mls) lukewarm water ( you may need a little more)
- Mix the flour and water in the bowl of your stand mixer or you can do it by hand. The dough should be firm but come together in a ball. If it seems dry add a few drops of water until it comes together. Knead well for 5-10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and supple.
- Wrap in plastic and rest for 10-15 minutes.
- Cut off a ¼ of the dough leaving the rest wrapped in the plastic.
- Roll a long rope about ⅓ inch (a bit less that 1 cm) thick. Cut into 4 inch (10cm) lengths.
- Place your wooden skewer at the end of the dough on an angle and press onto the dough slightly to stick and start rolling the skewer with your hands so the dough wraps around.
- Once wrapped roll the skewer backwards and forwards with your hands until the thins and lengthens.
- Slide the busiato off the skewer with your hands and place it onto a slightly floured tray.
- Continue in this manner creating many busiate
- Enlist diners to help with the task and in no time at all you busiate will all be prepared.
- Cook the busiate be sure to salt your water really well as there is no salt in the dough. We cooked out busiate for 5 minutes but it was little to long. Our busiate were a little on the small side so probably tasting and testing at 3 minutes would have been better.