Bucatini all'Amatriciana Abruzzi
Prep: 10 min -
Cook: 20 -
Total: 30 min
Yield: Serves 4 +Lo Chef.
This dish comes from Amatrice, a town on the border between Lazio and Abruzzi about 80 miles northeast of Rome. On the Sunday after Fer Agosto, August 15, Bucatini all'Amatriciana is served with great fanfare at local celebrations.
Fer Agosto, "Holiday of August", is one of the most observed Italian public holidays when practically all of Italy comes to a halt. The big factories in the North such as Fiat close their gates and most Italians get in their car or on the train leaving the large towns to the elderly and the tourists. This is one of our favorite pasta sauces.
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 oz slab bacon or pancetta finely diced
3 T butter
2 - 14 1/2 oz (or 1 28 oz) can Italian plum tomatoes, crushed
1/2 chili pepper, broken into small pieces, or 1/4 t chili pepper flakes to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup pecorino cheese
1 lb pasta, bucatini, penne or spaghetti
Pasta pot; saucepan or skillet (we use a large non-stick wok) large enough to fit all ingredients.
MELT butter in a large pan over medium heat.
SAUTÉ the onion until transparent - about 5 minutes.
ADD the chili and pancetta and sauté until onion is golden and the pancetta or bacon nice and crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes.
SET the pasta water to boil.
ADD tomatoes and cook over medium-high heat stirring occasionally, making sure sauce does not burn, about 15 minutes.
ADD salt to taste. Careful with the salt, as pancetta and or bacon are quite salty. You will also be adding the cheese, which is rather salty, too.
MEANWHILE cook the pasta.
WHEN done to taste, drain and pour into a warm serving bowl or directly into pan with the sauce, mix well adding grated cheese to taste and serve.
PASS extra cheese at table.
SPAGHETTI can be substituted for the bucatini and in a crunch, pennette.