Friday, 17 August 2012

Bucatini all'Amatriciana

This is one of my favorite dishes I had the delight of making and eating during my year studying abroad in Viterbo, Italy. Bucatini all'Amatriciana was a pasta that was made in my first Italian Cuisine class and I fell in love. It has a lot of flavor and very easy to make. The bucatini is a wonderful type of pasta. It is also called Perciatelli and unfortunately cannot always be found in grocery stores in the USA. Bucatini is a long think spaghetti like noodle with a whole going through the middle, like a straw. It has a delightful chewy consistency. 

Bucatini all'Amatriciana is a much loved dish in Italy. It comes from Amatrice, a town in the Lazio region of Italy, not far from Rome. This is a simple pasta with few ingredients, which is typical of pasta dishes from this region. Also, the use of Guanciale (pig cheek) can easily be found to flavor food in Lazio because in history, the pope and his people would get the 'choice' pieces of meat and the less desirable pieces went to the rest of the people in the surrounding areas, such as pig cheek.

Bucatini all'Amatriciana
(Recipe from De Cecco)

1 lb bucatini (or perciatelli)
1/4 lb guanciale (pancetta or bacon can be substituted) 
 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
 1 3/4 lbs fresh tomatoes
 1 cup pecorina cheese
 1/4 cup chopped onion
 salt and pepper
A hot pepper, seeded and chopped finely (not from the De Cecco box, but in the traditional recipe)

1. Cook the diced pancetta and chopped onion in a skillet until brown. 
2. Cut the peeled tomatoes into small pieces and add with pepper and salt, cooking over high heat for 20 minutes. 
3. Cook the Bucatini for 11 minutes (or until al dente)  in briskly boiling salted water, drain and place in serving dish. (reserving some water to add to dish). 
4. Add the sauce and sprinkle Pecorino cheese generously. 
Enjoy! Buon appetito!

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