Bucatini all'Amatriciana

Recipe number 2 from the Regional Cooking Class at Itawamba Community College. From the beautiful town of Amatrice, just Northeast of Rome, comes this classic dish.  My cooking class is about cooking methods and techniques in the Italian kitchen.  Most Italians will always have some kind of cured pork on hand.  Many of my students really wanted to experience typical dishes of Italy and how to make them.   We had so much fun and covered a lot of material in a small amount of time.  We even got to sit down for Lunch or Pranzo, just like we were living in Italy. Hard to believe we were in Tupelo, Mississippi.   We had so much fun.
Special Note below: 

This is a classic dish for sure.  I know some Romans who insist on using onion for a saute in this dish.  I am not telling. Traditionally,  the dish was made up only of sauteed.Pork Jowl (fat from the cheek of the Pig),  and tomatoes.   In the United States, Pork Jowl is hard to come by.  I substitute unsmoked, salt Pork.  Salted (not smoked), Pancetta is a great substitute when you can find it.   I like to use  Hormel salt pork.  Be sure and trim off the rind first.

This is a simple, classic dish you can make in a hurry!

4 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cups salt pork or Italian, salt cured pancetta (this cut is from the lean part of the bacon) cut into a small dice. 
2 cups chopped / diced tomatoes (you may puree in food processor if you like)
1/2 cup water (canned tomatoes are very acidic.  If you are using fresh tomatoes, there is no need to add water).
1/2 cup white wine
12 oz Bucatini Pasta (long, hollow, tube shape Pasta).  If you only have spaghetti, do not worry.  Almost anything will work fine.
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
Pasta Pot with 8 quarts of  salted water

Trim the rind off your salt pork and dice. 

  Divide the salt pork in half. Place one half spread on a baking sheet. ( In an effort to get my son to eat this Pasta, he likes a little extra crunch. You can leave this out, as this is my idea).  Bake in the oven at 400 degrees until crunchy (10 minutes).   Set aside to cool on a plate.  Place the rest in a  saute  pan large enough to toss your pasta in it when cooked. Place your olive oil in a pan and heat to medium.  Crisp up your pancetta.  At this point, add your tomatoes, water, wine and let the liquid simmer away. Simmer for 12-15 minutes.  After this time, you will notice  a ring of oil around the outside of the tomato sauce around the pan.  This indicates your sauce is done.  Set aside to cool down.
Cook your Pasta until al dente.  Drain and toss in your pan with your sauce.  Place in a serving bowl with Cheese, sauce, and serve.  Add more cheese at the table. If you have baked some extra pancetta in the oven, put a few pieces on top and serve. You can add some fresh parsley if you like or even Basil.   It will be hard to resist a second plate.   Buon Appetito~


scott egan said…
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Oh my, this looks heavenly. I love the traditional cooking. Brings back memories of living in New York with Nonna cooking and everyone gathered around the table (s). I miss those days.
Anne Nelson said…
I had this dish in Rome 4 years ago and they made it with guanciale. Between that and having pasta alla carbonara 2 nights in a row, I was in foodie heaven! When in Rome . . . :)

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