Bucatini all’amatriciana: oh my, how many difficult words are in this simple dish?
Bucatini: it’s a thick spaghetto with a hole (buco) in the middle
Amatriciana: it’s a kind of pasta sauce, originating from Amatrice, a village north of Rome.
It is a basic Italian dish, but as all basic Italian dishes, every family has its own version and unique way to prepare it!
This version is from a Rome friend who was so kind to share it with us on a Sunday lunch and was even kinder to send his family recipe. As with many traditional Italian dishes there are few ingredients, but I did my best to give you a foolproof version of the original recipe.
Ingredients are the key element here, so treat yourself: look for the best pasta di grano duro, the best guanciale, the best passata (tomato purée) and the best pecorino.
200 g guanciale (you can use, if guanciale it is difficult to find, smoked bacon, but it won0t be the same), in slices 5 millimetres thick
1/4 onion, chopped
White vinegar, a splash
500 ml passata
Dry flakes of chilly pepper
Grated pecorino (a lot!)
400 g bucatini
It serves 4 people
- Cut the guanciale in large strips.
- Put a big, tall pot full of water to boil
- In a big hot pan on a low fire, fry the guanciale in its own fat with the chopped onion.
- When the guanciale is beginning to brown, raise the flame to the maximum, add the splash of white vinegar and let it evaporate completely.
- Lower the flame to medium, add passata, a pinch or two of salt (remember the guanciale is already quite salted), and peperoncino. Let the sauce reduce and thicken on a high heat (careful of the burning split).
- Salt the water in the big pot and let it go back to boiling.
- Add the bucatini e cook them for the amount of time stated on the pack, minus 2 minutes.
- When the bucatini are done, drain them and add them to the pan with the sauce.
- Keep turning and stirring for maximum 2 minutes, adding pecorino.
- Serve immediately with more pecorino on top.