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Pasta Amatriciana

If you have ever been to Rome, Italy, you surely have seen Amatriciana pasta on the menu.  It is a staple in Roman cuisine but has many different versions- adding white wine, not using onions, or flavoring with a bit of garlic.  You can prepare with or without red chilli depending on your preference to any heat in the recipe.

The version here is from an Italian friend makes this almost every weekend for her kids.  Her recommendation is to find very good guanciale and a great tomato passata that is rich in flavor.

Pasta Amatriciana

If you have ever been to Rome, Italy, you surely have seen Amatriciana pasta on the menu.  It is a staple in Roman cuisine but has many different versions- adding white wine, not using onions, or flavoring with a bit of garlic.  You can prepare with or without red chilli depending on your preference to any heat in the recipe.

The version here is from an Italian friend makes this almost every weekend for her kids.  Her recommendation is to find very good guanciale and a great tomato passata that is rich in flavor.

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Ingredients

Recipe serves: 4-6
2/3 pound (300 grams) guanciale, pancetta or smoked bacon
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
5 1/2 cups (1.4 kg) tomato passata (about two bottles)
3/4 cup (75 grams) pecorino cheese
1 pound of bucatini, spaghetti, rigatoni or another shape pasta
optional
pinch of dried red chilli
large sprig fresh basil for garnish
grated pecorino for extra grating at table
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thoughts&stories

Guanciale is a cut from the jowls and cheeks of the pig creating a more delicate, sweeter flavor than pancetta (cut from the belly) or smoked bacon.

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Pasta Amatriciana
  • time
    1 hour 15 minutes
  • serves
    4
  • skill level
    Medium

Ingredients

  • optional

Directions

1
Done

Slice the guanciale into equal size cubes to assure a more even cooking time.

2
Done

Add the guanciale and olive oil to a large pan. Cook for 6-7 minutes over medium heat until the meat begins to brown.

3
Done

Lower heat and add the onions, cooking another 5 minutes until the onions begin to soften.

4
Done

Pour in the tomato passata and mix together well. Add red chilli if desired.

5
Done

Simmer over medium to low heat for at least 45 minutes or up to one hour.

6
Done

pasta

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, 4 quarts or 2 litres per pound. You want plenty of water - pasta needs to move around or it will become mushy. If you do not have a large pot, use two small ones.

7
Done

Add a generous amount of salt - or a general rule is one heaping tablespoon for each pound of pasta. The water should be "slightly less salty than the sea."

8
Done

Add the preferred pasta shape to the water. Set a timer for 7 minutes but test pasta after 5 minutes.

9
Done

Once the pasta is al dente (slightly chewy and less resistant to the bite), remove immediately and drain.

10
Done

Add the pasta to the sauce and coat well, then sprinkle in the cheese, toss again.

11
Done

Place in large serving dish, or individual plates, garnish with fresh basil.