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Bucatini all'amatriciana

Submitted by: Joseph Wu

Latest update: March 23, 2009

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Nancy has been searching for a good bucatini all'amatriciana in Vancouver ever since she had the dish in Toronto. Since we haven't been able to find a restaurant that does it, she found two recipes and gave them to me to try. The recipe presented here is a combination of the two, one by David Rocco and the other by Mario Batali.

Guanciale gives this dish its unique flavour. Apparently, it is hard to find in North America, but I discovered it at the Oyama Sausage Company in the Public Market at Granville Island. Right across the aisle is Duso's Pasta where I found the bucatini noodles. They also sell the pecorino romano there. How convenient is that?

  • 500 g bucatini
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • about 200 g guanciale, cut into small cubes (option: substitute pancetta)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. chili pepper flakes
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped, stems removed
  • 1 cup grated pecorino romano cheese

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box. Use a pot tall enough to accommodate the height of the noodles, as they will not bend as much as spaghetti or linguine.

Heat the oil in a large, deep pan. Fry the guanciale until it's crisp. Drain out about half of the oil. Add the garlic, onion and pepper flakes, and sauté until the onions soften. Add the tomatoes and salt, and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes.

Drain the pasta, and add it to the sauce. Add about one cup of the pasta water to help bind the noodles to the sauce. Add the parsley and cook for about one minute. Remove from the heat, and stir in the cheese.

Serve immediately.