Amatrice is a town on the central Apennines where, on August 15, huge cauldrons of this dish are prepared for the local festa.
The sauce is traditionally made with pork jowl, and flavoured with a lot of dried chilli and grated pecorino to counterbalance the fattiness of the meat. I use pancetta -- usually smoked -- sold in cubes.
Serves six as a first course or four as a main course.
YOU WILL NEED
350g smoked pancetta, in cubes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, very finely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 dried chilli, seeded and finely chopped
120ml dry white wine
450ml tomato sauce
450g bucatini pasta
6 tbsps aged pecorino, freshly grated
Freshly grated Parmesan, to serve
Put the pancetta and the oil in a non-stick frying pan and sauté until the fat has run out of the pancetta and the pancetta is crisp and browned. Stir
Add the onion and a pinch of salt to the frying pan and sauté for about 10 minutes.
Mix in the garlic and chilli.
Cook for a further minute or so and then pour in the wine. Turn the heat up and let the wine bubble away to reduce it by half.
Pour in the tomato sauce and simmer for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to combine.
Add salt and pepper to your liking.
Cook the bucatini in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain thoroughly, giving the colander a few sharp shakes so that the water trapped in the bucatini comes out.
Transfer the pasta to a heated bowl and mix in three-quarters of the sauce and the pecorino.
Toss very thoroughly and then spoon the rest of the sauce over the top.
Serve immediately, handing around the Parmesan separately in a bowl.