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Bucatini all’Amatriciana

This bucatini all’Amatriciana recipe is made with bucatini, a long pasta with a very thin hole in the center, so it’s kind of like chewy spaghetti tubes. Sauce Amatriciana is one of the oldest Italian tomato sauces. It is traditionally made with guanciale, or smoked pork cheek, but bacon has become a more common ingredient. Serve the pasta with plenty of shredded pecorino Romano cheese, a loaf of crusty bread, and a good bottle of red wine.–Theresa Gilliam

LC All’Amatri—What? Note

Let’s look at the recipe title again: Bucatini all’Amatriciana. You know, the words at the top of the page that you probably stopped reading midway through, your lips having slowly moved in the shape of these unfamiliar syllables, because you didn’t know what the heck it was and just figured to heck with it. What sorta way is that to live?! Get right back here. It’s all’Amatriciana, which literally means “in the style of Amatrice” (a town in central Italy) but colloquially means a spicy pasta sauce of tomatoes and porcine goodness. Here’s how you pronounce it. Oh, to be from Amatrice and be able to let that “ar” roll off the tongue so seductively…sigh.

Bucatini all’Amatriciana Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 35 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 4 to 8

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small onion, minced (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional), plus more for the cooking water
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound dried bucatini or spaghetti
  • 1/3 cup shredded pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving

Directions

  • 1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • 2. Heat the oil in a very large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until it just begins to crisp, about 6 minutes.
  • 3. If desired, drain some of the bacon drippings and oil from the skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is transparent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until it’s reduced, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes (along with their juices) and vinegar and bring to a simmer. Let cook, crushing the tomatoes with the back of a spoon as they soften, until the sauce comes together, about 10 minutes. Season with the chile flakes, salt, if using, and pepper, bearing in mind the cheese will add quite a lot of saltiness to the dish. Keep the sauce warm over low heat.
  • 4. Cook the pasta al dente according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta well, reserving 1/4 cup pasta cooking water. Add the pasta and the reserved liquid to the sauce and return the skillet to medium heat. Toss the pasta gently until it’s well coated and heated through, about 5 minutes. Fold in the cheese.
  • 5. Serve the pasta hot and pass plenty of additional cheese on the side.
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