Bucatini all’ Amatriciana

Bucatini all’Amatirciana is one of my family’s favorite meals. This recipe is great for serving lots of people too.  You can make the sauce before the guests arrive, and then when the pasta is finished, you simply toss the pasta in the sauce and you are done. It may seem funny that carrot is one of the ingredients, but it adds the perfect amount of sweetness to the dish. When I chop the carrot, I make sure that I chop it super fine.  No one even knows that carrot is in the pasta.  I also salt the pasta water really well, so I don’t add salt to the sauce.  With the salt from the meat and then the added pasta water at the end, you don’t need to salt the sauce.  Adding extra salt to the sauce is truly up to the taste of the cook.


3 T. extra virgin olive oil
4 oz. thinly sliced guanicale or pancetta, cut in ¾ inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small carrot, minced

½ medium onion, minced
½ tsp. crushed red chile flakes

1 28 oz. can peeled San Marzano tomatoes, undrained and puréed
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 lb. bucatini or spaghetti
1¼ cups grated Pecorino Romano

1. Heat oil in a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add guanciale; cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 6–8 minutes. Add pepper; cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes more. Increase heat to medium-high; add garlic, carrots, and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 6 minutes. Add chile flakes; cook for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens and flavors meld, 20–25 minutes. Season with salt; keep warm.

2. Bring a 6-qt. pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until just al dente, 6–8 minutes. Reserve ½ cup pasta water; drain pasta. Heat reserved sauce over medium heat. Add pasta and reserved water; cook, tossing, until sauce clings to pasta, 2–3 minutes.

Add ½ cup Pecorino; toss. Divide between serving bowls; serve with remaining Pecorino.
Serves 4

Recipe from: Saveur Issue #128