When my husband and I went to Italy last winter, the first thing we ate was pasta. My husband ordered his favorite cacio e pepe but I decided to be adventurous and order a pasta I never had before, amatriciana. Little did I know that this is a classic Italian dish available widely throughout Italy. I could barely pronounce the name but by the end of the meal, I was singing Amatriciana! This pasta ended up being one of my favorite meals in Italy. Made from only four ingredients, the sauce is simple but full of incredible flavor. This recipe is an ode to the dish I had in Rome, adding a special twist to make it my own.
- 1 tsp olive oil
- ½ lb guanciale chopped
- 28 ounce San Marzano peeled canned tomatoes
- ¼ cup reserved oil
- 2 tsp garlic minced
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 lb spaghetti bronze die
- ½ cup reserved pasta water
- grated pecorino
- Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add guanciale and saute until lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes. Drain all but 1 tbsp oil, reserving the rendered pork fat.
- Add canned tomatoes with juices and season with salt and pepper. Lower heat to low and continue to cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce should barely be bubbling.
- Meanwhile, heat ¼ cup of the reserved pork fat in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add minced garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until garlic is lightly browned, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Strain the oil, discarding the garlic and red pepper flakes.
- Add garlic and red pepper infused oil to amatriciana sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving ½ cup of the cooking liquid.
- Toss pasta with the sauce and the reserved cooking liquid. Taste and make a final seasoning adjustment, adding more salt and pepper if needed. Top with grated pecorino and serve immediately.