The recipe for all’amatriciana originates from the town of Amatrice in the Sabine Hills not far from Rome.
It is a simple, earthy dish. The traditional type of pasta for this condiment is bucatini (thicker than spaghetti with a hollow center) and it is affectionately called sporca camicia (dirty shirt), because bucatini are notoriously hard to eat without making a mess and dirtying your clothing. Other pastas that are often used with this dish are spaghetti and rigatoni. Our personal pasta preference for this dish is Spaghetti Chitarra.
What is Guanciale?
In Italian kitchens guanciale is utilized the same way as the better known Pancetta is used. Pancetta come from the belly of the pig, while guanciale comes from the more muscular part of the animal. Guanciale comes from the cheek (guancia) of the pig and is triangular in shape like a pillow (guanciale). The consistency of guanciale is harder than regular pancetta and it has a distinctive, unique flavour. The best guanciale is produced in the region of Lazio, in the province of Rieti, particularly from the town of Amatrice while Pancetta is produced in several regions of Italy and in different forms.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 35 mins
- Servings: 4 people
- 500g Pasta Panarese Spaghetti Chitarra
- Extra Virgin Oil
- 250g Guanciale or alternatively Pancetta
- 400g Canned Tomatoes (We Like Polpa)
- Fresh Red Hot Pepper To Taste
- ½ Glass Dry White Wine
- Salt And Fresh Ground Pepper Taste
- Pecorino Romano Cheese
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add rock salt and cook the spaghetti chitarra until very al dente or just about done. The pasta will continue cooking to al dente when it is paired with the sauce in a skillet later on in the recipe.
- Cut the guanciale into 1 cm (¼ – ½ inch) thick strips, then cut the strips into 2 ½ cm (1 inch) lengths.
- Crush the canned tomatoes. If using fresh tomatoes, remove the skin and roughly chop them
- In a skillet large enough to eventually hold all the ingredients add just a bit of extra virgin olive oil, this is to keep the guanciale from sticking until it renders its fat. Add the guanciale and red pepper and cook over a medium heat until the guanciale is golden. At this point remove ¼ of the guanciale in order to keep it crisp. Raise the heat and add the wine, which will deglaze your pan. Once the alcohol has evaporated remove the red pepper, lower the heat, and add the tomatoes. Cook at a simmer for 10 minutes; taste and correct for seasoning.
- Add the very al dente pasta to the skillet and continue cooking with the tomatoes. Add some of the starchy pasta water to the skillet, which will facilitate the cooking and make the sauce creamy. When the pasta is done add the reserved crisp guanciale pieces and freshly grated pecorino to taste.
- Plate the pasta and add a drizzle of the finest extra virgin olive oil over the pasta. This is optional.
- Pair it with a glass of Danese Montepulciano Wine