Sunday, October 9, 2011


I have wanted to try this dish forever, and it seems in the last month or so I have been seeing it around every corner.  This dish originated from a town called Amatrice, in Italy.  Though spaghetti was the original pasta used in this dish, after it's popularity grew in Rome it became more common to use my favorite long pasta, bucatini.  

The ingredients that are traditionally used in this dish are bucatini, guanciale (cured pork cheek), pecorino romano cheese, tomatoes, olive oil and garlic.  Red peppers were also added later.  Since bucatini is my favorite pasta it was only right that I find the dish it traditionally is used in and make it.  I love all things spicy and all things pasta and garlic, it was like an equation written in heaven!

The ingredients I altered a bit.  Of course, pancetta or bacon are appropriate substitutes for guanciale, *since I  JUST ran out* I do not care for pecorino cheese, I know, I know, but accept that I don't like to put rotten socks in my mouth and we can move on.  I subbed Parmesan.  I also used bacon.  Fresh pasta is NOT recommended for this dish.

Pasta All'Amatriciana

1 lb bucatini pasta (also known as perciatelli)thick spaghetti that is hollow like a straw inside
1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
1/2 - 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion finely minced
5 slices of bacon cut into pieces
Red pepper flakes to taste, I used 1 tsp
fresh basil (optional)

Get your water boiling for your pasta. 
 Add a generous handful of salt.  In a large saute pan on medium to medium high heat, add olive oil and bacon.  Do not let bacon get crispy.  Let the fat begin to render and add in onions, and red pepper flakes.  After sauteing for 2 minutes add garlic, salt and pepper.  Add in tomatoes and let simmer to lightly boil until the mixture is reduced and thickened.  You should be able to drag a spoon through it and it stays separated.  When pasta is done, add to sauce and toss with  1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.  Plate and sprinkle with more cheese if desired. 

I hope you love this as much as I do!  It is a permanent fixture on my favorites list!  Remember to adjust red pepper to your taste or leave it out totally.  Onions and garlic are the same, optional.  Though traditional, it is your kitchen, your dish and your palette!!

Your "can't live without bucatini" chefwannabe

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