We made this one Saturday afternoon around 3pm. Why at such a random time? Well, because "Lidia's Italy" is on PBS at 12:30 here on Saturdays and this is what she made that particular day. I have seen that show probably only about 5 to 7 times in my life and have cooked pasta literally within 2 hours of watching it EVERY TIME. She just makes the pasta look so simple and beautiful. To me, that is the true judge of a good cooing show. When a great chef is on TV, as the show finishes you have the urge to get up and make something. When Alexandria was on at 10:30am, Mandi and I would have just finished breakfast and already be wondering what we were going to make later! Amatriciana is a traditional roman pasta dish that uses guanciale as the fat base. I can not find guanciale in Bermuda so I used pancetta here. This is totally acceptable by some, and considered a travesty by others!
Also, if you have a minute, check out my rival's site today where he mentions the food blog battle we are having on Monday. You can even leave him a threatening comment about how he is goin' down! Ahh the magic of the internet.
We followed Lidia's recipe closely, except for the whole guanciale thing.
The weird thing was you boil the onions instead of sauté.
Nice thin strips.
Actually, thin strips of everything. Even the canned tomatoes.
Spagetti is most traditional for this meal, but bucatini has become accepted as well. Mandi and I love bucatini for the little holes in the middle and the thickness of the noodles.
When the water has almost fully evaporated, add some olive oil.
Then put the onions on half the pan and the pancetta on the other half.
When the pancetta is finished cooking, add garlic and red pepper flakes (a hefty amount, 2 or 3 big pinches), and stir everything around for 2 minutes.
Then add your tomatoes. All this is happening while the pasta is cooking.
When the pasta is done 5 minutes later, add it to the sauce.
Shut off the heat and add some pecorino romano.
The sauce should be just coating the noodles and not smothering them. Condimento as Lidia says.
Easy, quick and fantastic. This dish is a classic for a reason. The simple flavors all come together perfectly. This recipe isn't available on her website which leads me to believe she wants you to buy her book, so I will not put it up here. If you aren't a moron however, you can probably tool it out from the pictures and descriptions!