Cook Like an Italian: Bucatini Amatriciana
Since I’ve spent most of my life in Rome, I always thought that Amatriciana was a Roman dish. However, it is actually from Abruzzo! The name comes from a mountain city called Amatrice, which is in Lazio.
There are still many disputes over who invented this dish and who added a key ingredient to the sauce : the tomato! It must be San Marzano!
This is a simple dish to make, with just a few ingredients, so make sure you use the best quality, since you can taste every single element of the recipe.
Bucatini pasta is a thick spaghetti with a tiny hole in the center, guanciale is pork cheek, and make sure you use San Marzano tomatoes, imported from Italy, so you can recreate the authentic taste!
Bucatini alla Amatriciana
Pair with Mazzoni Vermentino Chardonnay
Total time 35 minutes
1 -28-ounces can San Marzano tomatoes crushed by hand
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup freshly grated Pecorino-Romano plus 1 tablespoon for topping at the end.
6 Oz. guanciale, pancetta or bacon thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Pound bucatini pasta preferably Barilla or De Cecco
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce:
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.
Add guanciale, pancetta or bacon and sauté until rendered and crispy. 5 to 6 minutes.
Add pepper flakes, black pepper, the crushed tomatoes and stir.
Taste for salt and add the 1/2 teaspoon of salt only if necessary.
Reduce heat to low.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, 15 minutes.
When the sauce is cooked turn off the heat and add the Pecorino cheese.
Tip: turn the heat on again 1 minute before you drain the pasta!
For the pasta:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. 8 minutes.
Drain and transfer immediately to the skillet with the tomato sauce, toss vigorously with tongs to coat.
Transfer to a serving dish and top with the reserved tablespoon of Pecorino.
Authentic Italian Tip: Never use onions or wine in authentic Amatriciana!
Influenced by memories in the kitchen with his mother and grandmother, Italian-born Francesco Romano is the man behind the food blog, Coco de Mama. He shares recipes and culinary knowledge with Mazzoni fans each month.