Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bucatini All'Amatriciana

This spicy Abbruzzese Shepherd's pasta is a classic Italian recipe.  Amatrice, Italy is the area where this pasta originates.  This pasta is spicy enough to warm up a cold shepherd after a long day in cold bad weather. 
     Guanciale (Cured pig jowls) is what the locals use to make this pasta.  Pancetta can be used in place of guanciale to make this pasta. 
     Bucatini is like a very thick spaghetti that is hollow in the middle like a long tube.  Bucatini was my favorite childhood pasta because of the noise that can be made with it when eating!  Buying a section of pancetta and slicing it yourself is better than pre sliced pancetta.  This recipe calls for a thick diced pancetta or guanciale.
     Recipe:  Heat a saute pan over medium heat.
     Add a splash of olive oil.
     Add a small handful of large diced pancetta or guanciale.
     Add 2 cloves of coarse chopped garlic.
     Add 2 large shallots that are cut in half. 
     When the pancetta, garlic and shallots are lightly browned, add about 1 1/2 cups of Imported Italian crushed peeled plum tomatoes. 
     Add sea salt and crushed black pepper.
     Add a pinch of thyme.
     Add a couple pinches of crushed dried red pepper. 
     Simmer the sauce over medium low heat and stir it occasionally. 
     Add a few whole Italian parsley leaves.
     Reduce the sauce slightly and add a splash of virgin olive oil. 
     Add a portion of al dente cooked bucatini pasta. 
     Toss the sauce and pasta together. 
     Set the pasta on a plate and sprinkle some grated romano cheese over the pasta.
     Delicious!  If you like a spicy pasta, then All'Amatriciana is for you.  What?  No basil or oregano?  Some pastas in some regions of Italy don't use stereotypical Italian ingredients.  Thyme is great with hot peppers and tomatoes!  Romano is a sharp goats milk cheese.  The aged, cured pancetta flavor is fantasticly rich!  The sweet shallot flavor compliments the flavor of the pancetta.  Bacon is never a suitable replacement for pancetta.  Guanciale is better than pancetta for this recipe, but it is hard to find. 
     Yum!  This is one of Italy's favorite pastas.  Ciao Baby!  ... Shawna

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