Spaghetti was a regular dish in my household growing up. The big pot of sauce simmering all day and wafting delicious home cooked scents throughout the house was my favorite part. My Mom’s will always be my favorite however; I wanted to highlight another pasta dish that has recently captivated my attention. That would be Bucatini all’ Amatriciana.
As I have drilled down into most of my reader’s brains by now, I love Italian cuisine. On my last trip to Italy I was able to taste the local favorite dishes of Rome. Rome is often known for its Spaghetti alla Carbonara (which is delicious) but there is another popular dish that I fell in love with. It’s called Bucatini all’ Amatriciana. It has what American’s consider a traditional red sauce. But the pepperoncino (chile peppers) give it a kick and bacon is added for a meaty and hearty flavor. My first taste was at a little trattoria named Arlu on Borgo Pio in Rome. (highly recommend if you are travelling to Rome!).
I’ve since worked to conquer this dish the best that I can. I just want to try and enjoy a piece of Rome every now and again. Mine may not be an exact replica, or the truly traditional version of the dish. But, what I can tell you is… it’s very tasty. I now find myself craving my variety of this iconic meal.
Next time you decide to cook up some Sunday Sauce try this amatriciana for a fun twist to your Italian feast.
…all for the love of the dish
- 6oz of cubed pancetta
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 1/2 medium onions
- 4 large cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 sprig sage
- 2 tbsp red wine
- 1 28oz can peeled whole tomatoes
- 1 6oz can tomato paste
- 1 pkg bucatini (You can substitute spaghetti if you cannot find this pasta variety)
- Pecorino Romano cheese for topping
- Over medium heat, fry up the pancetta until it is crispy and browned in your sauce pot (use a fairly large pot).
- Meanwhile, dice up your onions and carrots and mince your garlic.
- Remove pancetta and put aside. Leave the accumulated fat in the pot and add 2 tbsp of butter. Let melt and then add the carrots, onion half of the garlic, and salt to the pot (place the other half of garlic with reserved pancetta). Let cook for about 6 minutes or until soft.
- Remove ½ cup of the onions (Be mindful not to remove the carrots, only onions if possible). Put these aside with your pancetta and garlic for later use.
- Add your sprig of rosemary and sage to the pot and let cook until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and let cook down for another 5 minutes or so.
- Once the wine has cooked down, add the cans of peeled tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir, partially cover and turn to low temperature. Let simmer for 2 hours, stirring every few minutes.
- Remove the sauce from heat. Take out your rosemary and sage leaves and pour the sauce into a blender or food processor. Pulse for about 3 minutes or until smooth. Pour the sauce back into your pot and keep warm over medium-low heat. Add ¾ of the reserved pancetta and all of the reserved onions and garlic. Also, season with the crushed red pepper and black pepper. Let the sauce simmer for another 30 minutes.
- Bring a large salted pot of water to boil. Add the bucatini and cook for 7-10 minutes until al’dente.
- Top your pasta with the Amatriciana sauce, a few pieces of the reserved pancetta and some Pecorino Romano cheese.