Let’s prepare a delicious and simple Italian dish, packed with flavours. The challenge when making Bucatini All’Amatriciana is with getting the right ingredients. You must have Guanciale, Bucatini, San Marzano tomatoes, dried Spanish pepper and Pecorino Romano. Five challenges actually…
Bucatini is an interesting pasta. It looks like thick spaghetti but has a hole running though the centre. Indeed, a dried tube. When cooked it’s different from spaghetti, thicker of course and you need to chew longer, making the dish more filling and the taste longer lasting, without the paste itself being chewy. Could you replace bucatini with spaghetti? Probably yes, although the dish will become simpler.
How about Guanciale (cured pork cheek)? It is the key ingredient of Spaghetti Carbonara. Could you replace it with Pancetta? Probably yes, even Antonio Carluccio uses pancetta when preparing Bucatini All’Amatriciana with Gennaro Contaldo in this video.
Parmesan Cheese? That’s a no-go. We tried the dish with both Parmesan and Pecorino. The version with Parmesan cheese (made from cow milk) was okay, the one made with Pecorino (made from sheep milk) was delicious. The cheese combined very well with the spiciness and sweetness of the sauce.
San Marzano tomatoes have lots of flesh, just a few seeds and the taste is sweet and not very acidic. They are often used for canned tomatoes. If you can’t find San Marzano, then ask your greengrocer for similar tomatoes.
Shopping for the ingredients of Bucatini All’Amatriciana may be a challenge, preparing it is simple. Just keep an eye on the pan and the pasta. Within 30 minutes you can enjoy a classic Italian dish.
A red Italian wine is the obvious choice. We opened a bottle of Villa Castello Terre di Chieti Sangiovese 2022. The wine is made with 100% Sangiovese grapes. A touch of oak, not too much alcohol, full bodied, smooth, and with aromas of dark fruit. We loved it with our Bucatini All’Amatriciana. In general, an (Italian) wine made with Sangiovese grapes will be a great choice.
What You Need
- 150 grams of Guanciale
- 300 grams San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 small Yellow Onion
- 1 dried Spanish Pepper
- White Wine
- Pecorino Romano
What You Do
Remove the outer layer of the guanciale and dice. Coarsely chop the onion. Wash and dry the tomatoes. Chop, also coarsely. Finely chop the Spanish pepper. Depending on your taste you could use the seeds. Heat a large pan, add the guanciale and fry gently, making sure you get some nice fat without frying the meat crispy. Add the onion, add some of the Spanish pepper and glaze the onion. Add some white wine and reduce the heat. Add the chopped tomatoes and leave to simmer. Taste and perhaps add some more pepper. In parallel cook the bucatini al dente, this will probably take some 10 minutes. When ready transfer the bucatini straight from the water to the sauce, combine and leave for a minute or two. Taste and if necessary, adjust by adding pepper. Serve the Bucatini All’Amatriciana with some freshly grated Pecorino Romano.
4 thoughts on “Bucatini All’Amatriciana”
Delicious! Love such simple, yet so sophisticated dishes. 🙂
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Thanks, so do we!
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One of my favorite pasta dishes. It is simple but must be executed perfectly as you show.
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Thanks Bernadette, it’s indeed a combination of the right ingredients and some extra attention when making the sauce.