Simple and flavourful, bucatini all’amatriciana is named for the small town of Amatrice, located about an hour northeast of Rome. Bucatini, a long and hollow pasta, perfectly picks up the simple sauce, which is perfectly balanced with spicy chili, sharp Pecorino Romano cheese, sweet-tart tomato sauce, and rich guanciale (cured pork cheek).
Bucatini all’Amatriciana (Bucatini with Spicy Tomato Sauce, Pecorino Romano, and Guanciale)
Recipe courtesy of Eataly
Yield: 6 servings
1 pound bucatini
4 ounces guanciale (or pancetta), sliced
½ cup freshly-grated Pecorino Romano, plus more for serving
¾ cup strained San Marzano tomatoes, simmered until reduced by half
¼ cup tomato paste
1 medium red onion, cut lengthwise into ¼-inch slices
1/3 cup coarsely-chopped fresh Italian parsley
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
Salt, to taste
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, and add 3 tablespoons salt.
Meanwhile, combine the olive oil, guanciale, and onion in another large pot, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the guanciale is lightly browned and the onion is softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomato sauce, and remove from the heat.
Drop the pasta into the boiling water, and cook two minutes less than the package instructions or just before al dente. Drain, reserving about ½ cup of the pasta water.
Add the pasta and ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water to the guanciale, and toss over medium heat until the pasta is well coated (add a splash or two more of the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce, if needed).
Stir in the cheese and parsley. Serve immediately with additional grated Pecorino Romano on the side.
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