After months of promising this recipe for bucatini all’amatriciana it is finally here. Guanciale (pork cheek) is not common in the US, which means you must replace it with the closest item, that item is pancetta. Pancetta in a block is also hard to locate but at least we have one Italian market and deli in town. Finding the pancetta was the simple part.
I would eventually go on a three month endeavor to find bucatini pasta. Bucatini is a No. 12 pasta that resembles spaghetti but has a elongated hole running complete through it. Luckily, World Market is renovating their stores and recently stocked it with bucatini. I purchased five packages I was so excited!
Bucatini all”Amatriciana is a dish that made it popular in Rome. It is named after the tiny town of Amatrice. It is said that the shepherds love this meal to warm up from the chilly mountain air. I just love any excuse to have fresh basil in the house as the aroma is delightful! If anyone is interested, I can add the recipe of how to make your own peeled tomatoes to replace the canned tomatoes within this recipe. Canned can be bought but are sometimes hard to locate.
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic; minced
- 6 oz guanciale or pancetta, cubed (must be thick)
- 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- half of onion finely chopped (red or white)
- 1/4 teaspoon dried red chili pepper (or crushed red pepper)
- 1/4 cup of dry white wine
- 2 cans of peeled tomatoes; 28 oz each (if you cannot find canned you can make your own)
- 1 package Bucatini pasta
- 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh basil (optional; for serving)
- Fill a large pot with water, one tablespoon olive oil, and salt. Bring to a boil and cook pasta until done while cooking the sauce.
- In a pot or saute skillet, add onions, pancetta (guanciale), garlic, and two tablespoons olive oil and tad of salt; cook on medium heat for three to five minutes. Add in dried red chili pepper and saute for about a minute. Drain just the top juice of the cans, not all, as you want the sauce to be a bit thick rather than runny. Add peeled tomatoes and the white wine. Break up the tomatoes while cooking. Cook for about ten minutes reducing the tomato juice off. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Drain pasta reserving some of the pasta water; add sauce to pasta. Toss and plate. Top with freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese and garnish with basil.