Happy 2773rd Birthday Rome
Amatriciana Sauce is maybe my favorite out of the four classic roman sauces (cacio e pepe, gricia, carbonara and amatriciana). Amatrice is a small town in Lazio where the sauce is said to have originated. Back in 2016 a major earthquake rocked the town and caused widespread damage. Across the globe Chefs began selling pasta with sauce amatriciana and donated a portion of the proceeds to the towns relief fund to help the way chefs know best.
The region is popular for the delicious pecorino cheese that the shepherds brought to Rome to sell. Rumor has it, when the shepherds traveled to Rome, they would bring some of their sauce using the "poor" ingredients they were accustomed to using. The base of the sauce is made up of guanciale and onions, both considered poor ingredients at the time. Guanciale is a delicious type of salumi made from the fatty jowl or cheek of a pig.
My recipe is very close to the region's own recipe, the Italian "Prodotto agroalimentare tradizionale" which means that it is a protected part of history, similar to champagne and how it should only be called champagne if it is made in the town of Champagne, France.
2 cups diced guanciale or pancetta
1 onion diced small
crushed red pepper - to taste
4each cloves garlic - sliced thin
fresh ground black pepper- to taste
1can of peeled san marzano tomatoes in puree
Fresh pasta from A Tavola's Pantry
-In a sauce pan on medium heat add a 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the diced salumi
-Allow the meat and fat to slowly render and get slightly golden brown
-Spoon out the meat but leave the fat in the pan, add the onions and garlic
-Stirring and scraping to get any of the crispy bits left on the bottom of the pan by the salumi
-Add the salumi back to the pan once the onions begin to become translucent and soft add a good helping of fresh ground black pepper and mix it well
* this sauce is related to cacio e pepe so a healthy amount of pepper wont hurt
-Knowing your own taste as much crushed red pepper as you think you might like.
* just remember you can add more you just can't take it out
-If your can of tomatoes is whole place them in a bowl and gently crush them up a little
-Add your tomatoes to the pan and mix allowing everything to come together
-Taste and adjust your seasoning
-Cook on medium to low heat for about 10 minutes stirring so that the sauce does not stick
-Gently tear the basil and add it to the sauce just before mixing in the pasta
This sauce is best enjoyed with bucatini pasta so the sauce can get stuck in the tube of the noodle.
Enjoy and eat well.