The sauce for this pasta dish originated in the town of Amatrice, which is in the Lazio Region of Italy, northeast of Rome. Many recipes call for the use of guanciale, which is not always readily available, so if I am unable to get it, I use pancetta, which is perfectly acceptable. One could also use prosciutto, as well. However, if you can obtain guanciale, I would recommend trying it, as it has a slightly different pork flavor and texture. The classic pasta shape used with an Amatriciana sauce is bucatini; however, because of its thickness, it can be somewhat difficult to wrap around your fork. I find that rigatoni works well as the sauce and the pancetta work their way into the pasta tube, giving you more flavor in each mouthful. But, once again try the bucatini yourself for a different eating experience.
Active Preparation Time 45 minutes; Serves 4
- Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium high.
- Add the garlic and stir well for about 30 seconds, add the pancetta and lower heat to medium.
- Cook pancetta, stirring regularly, for about 4 minutes.
- Raise heat to high and continue stirring until the fat is rendered and pancetta is just before getting crisp, about 2 minutes more.
- Remove pancetta with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Pour off the fat except for about 1/4 cup.
- Add the onion and cook until soft, stirring to scrap up the fond. Add the wine and deglaze the pan.
- Add the rigatoni to the boiling water and cook for one minute less than al dente.
- Crush the tomatoes and add to the skillet. Add back the pancetta. Cook on medium for about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Drain the rigatoni and add to the sauce, mix well for about 30 seconds.
- Serve with grated Pecorino-Romano
- We recommend a good Italian red wine to accompany thus dish.