Thursday, September 1, 2011
Make sure to use pancetta or the traditional guanciale for this pasta.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
one 1/2-inch piece pancetta, diced
1/2 cup sweet yellow onion, finely diced
pinch red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
One 28 to 32-ounce can crushed plum tomatoes (San Marzano preferred)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup packed basil, finely chopped
In a large saucepan, heat the oil and cook the pancetta or guanciale until crisp, and the fat is rendered.
Add the onion, red pepper, and garlic, sauteing for 2 to 3 minutes until the vegetables are softened.
Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and sugar.
Simmer for 20, to 30 minutes, until the sauce is thickened.
Always cook pasta in a lot of salted water. NEVER put oil into the water, the starch in the pasta comes to the outside of the pasta during cooking, this helps the pasta soak up the sauce; if you add oil to the water, the starch will disappear and the sauce will slide right off the sauce. My grandmother always said that the pasta water should taste like the ocean and the pasta should swim in the water. For Amatriciana the Romans use buccatini, or spaghetti, tonight we used Mafalda a special cut of pasta.