Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pasta Amatriciana

When I think of Rome, the Colosseum, The Forum, St. Peter's, Piazza Navona, Castel St. Angelo all come to mind, after the food.  Roman food is in a class all by itself, and Dr. C. and Ryan and I ate our way through Rome trying all the delights it had to offer.  My search for a recipe for Roman pizza continues, but I think my Pasta Amatriciana passes the test, and we had it tonight.  Buon Appetito!

Pasta Amatriciana
Serves 4
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. 
 Stir in the basil, and keep warm while the pasta is cooking. 

Pasta Primer

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. 

1 comment:

  1. Well, I've never been to Rome - and probably never will go, so this is as close as I'm going to get to experiencing it I suppose.  :(