Wish Upon A Dish: Pasta all'Amatriciana

December 11, 2010

Pasta all'Amatriciana

When I have a very busy day, I never say no when I get an offer for dinner out. Such was my day which started at 8:30 AM.

I knew we had a lot to do but I did not imagine the amount of stuff we needed to buy.

We went to the diner, liquor store, Pet Goods, Shop-Rite, BJ's Warehouse, Bed, Bath & Beyond and the local hardware store.

OMG, The Nudge's new Rogue was filled from seat to trunk with items both for us and my Dad.

Once we got home I had to pack my trunk with his stuff and separate ours, freeze our stuff and pack the canned goods going to Toms River. Then I finished all the outside Christmas decorations and The Nudge finished bagging the leaves.

By that time, I was in no mood to make dinner so we went to the local Italian place for some Amatriciana and a Bar Pie, plus a good Chianti to warm our soul.
Normally this dish is made with buccatini and guanciale, but at this restaurant they use the mezzi rigatoni and bacon plus they add cream. I like it when I want just a pasta dish with no fuss, a good salad and some bread for dipping....
Here is the traditional recipe:

Bucatini all'Amatriciana
* 1 pound bucatini or thick stranded spaghetti (see note)
* 1/4 pound (100 g) pancetta or guanciale, diced (see note)
* 1 pound (400 g) ripe tomatoes (4-5 plum tomatoes), blanched, peeled, seeded and chopped
* Half an onion, minced
* A hot pepper, seeded and shredded (or leave it whole if you want to remove it)
* 1/2 cup olive oil
* An abundance (a cup) of freshly grated Pecorino Romano

Set the pasta water to heat, salt it when it boils, and cook the pasta. While this is happening, heat the oil in a skillet, add the diced meat, and cook until it browns, stirring the pieces about. Remove them to a sheet of absorbent paper with a slotted spoon and keep them warm. Add the onion to the grease in the pan, together with the hot pepper, and when it begins to color add the tomato pieces, which should be well drained. Cook, stirring, for 5-6 minutes, then return the diced pancetta to the pot and heat it through. Drain the pasta while it's still a little al dente, turn it into the skillet with the sauce, cook a minute more more, stirring the pasta to coat the strands, and serve, with grated Pecorino cheese.

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