Bucatini all’Amatriciana

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Traditionally this dish is made with Guanciale, a cured jowl bacon from Italy.  Pancetta is certainly close enough, and infinitely easier to find.  There were 5 kids eating this dinner, so I went a little easy on the crushed red.  If I were to make it again for adults, I’d use 2 tsp for sure.  Finally, while any tomato-based pasta sauce will do, I made a batch of my Grandma Joanne’s  famous sauce.  (Browned pork, garlic, onion, olive oil, oregano, basil, italian seasonings, black pepper, salt, and canned tomatoes and/or sauce, browned pork.  You said pork twice.  I like pork!)

Evelyn seems to like it.

Adapted from Mario Batali (via Food and Wine)

  • ¾ lbs pancetta, diced
  • 1 red onion, thinly slices
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 – 2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 16 oz tomato-based pasta sauce (make your own or buy a jar)
  • ½ cup roughly chopped parsley
  • 1 lb bucatini
  • Grated pecorino romano

Boil a large pot of salted water.  Boil noodles for about 10 minutes or as indicated on the package.  Drain, reserving some of the water.

In a large skillet, cook the pancetta over medium heat until well browned.  Transfer to a plate.  Remove all but 2 Tb of the bacon fat from the pan.  Add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes.  Return the pancetta to the pan, along with the sauce and crushed red pepper.  Cook for several minutes.  Add the pasta, parsley, and up to a cup of the pasta water.  Toss and serve on plates or in a large bowl.  Pass the cheese at the table.


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