Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pasta all' Amatriciana



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I'm breaking the rules a bit tonight. The sauce I'm featuring is usually served over thick strand pasta such as perciatelli or bucatini. Unfortunately, they are not available here, so I usually use spaghetti or linguine in their stead. I was in a rush this evening and didn't realize I had neither of them in my pantry until the Amatriciana sauce was nearly done. I did have cavatelli and, having no other options, decided to use it as a base for the sauce. It worked, though not as well as a strand pasta might. I hasten to add that the sauce saved the day, not the pasta I used. The sauce, which originated in the Italian town of Amatrice, is usually made with tomatoes, pancetta and hot pepper flakes. The pancetta gives the sauce a unique flavor, and while some think Canadian bacon can be used as a substitute, I don't recommend it because I don't think it imparts the same flavor. Amatriciana is an uncomplicated sauce that has wonderful color and is quite simply delicious. The recipe I use was originally developed by Lidia Bastianich and it is a winner. Here's how the sauce is made.

Pasta all' Amatriciana...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Lidia Bastianich

Ingredients:
1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes
salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, or to taste
2 cups thinly sliced onion
3 ounces pancetta, cut into 1-1/2 inch julienne strips
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound strand pasta
1 cup Pecorino Romano, grated, plus more for passing

Directions:
1) Pass tomatoes and their liquid through fine disc of a food mill. Set aside.
2) Bring 6 quarts of salted water to boil in an 8-quart pot.
3) Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 4 minutes. Add pancetta and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add pepper flakes and tomatoes with their juice and bring to a boil. Adjust heat to a simmer, and season lightly with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 20 minutes.
4) Meanwhile, stir pasta into boiling water and cook, according to package instructions, until done.
5) Reserve about 1 cup of pasta cooking water. Drain pasta, return it to pot in which it cooked. Add half the sauce and bring to a boil, adding enough pasta water to make a sauce to coat the macaroni. Check seasoning, adding salt if necessary. Remove pan from heat, stir in 1 cup grated cheese and transfer to a large, heated serving platter or bowl. Spoon remaining sauce over top. Serve immediately, passing additional cheese if desired. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.








One Year Ago Today: Huevos Ahogados En Salsa Verde















Two Years Ago Today: Tomato Jam







You might also enjoy these recipes:
Spaghetti and Meatballs - Deelicious Sweets
Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese - Neo-Homesteading
Fettucini Carbonara - Our Life in the Kitchen
Lidia's Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes - Ciao Chow Linda
Easy Sunday Lemon Pasta - Joy the Baker

53 comments:

Debs @ DKC said...

Oh yum, pasta is pasta whatever shape, I don't think it really matter is you use a different one at anytime LOL

How strange you posted this, I just posted alla puttanesca in memory of a very dear friend too http://debskitchencreations.blogspot.com/2011/09/spaghetti-alla-puttanesca-for-miguel.html

Dzoli said...

Pasta is always readily eaten no matter how often I cook it:) And nevere mind new twists on it.Ta;)

martu said...

oh I love this pasta! it looks wonderful. It doesn´t matter u used another kind :)Have a nice week.

cooking-love said...

Hola Mary...gracias por tu visita,y tus palabras de cariño.
Tus recetas son deliciosas.
Gracoas por compartirlas.
Bendiciones.
Hi Mary ... thanks for your visit and your words of love.
Your recipes are delicious.
Grace for sharing.
Blessings.

Stefania said...

Una bella e buona pasta, ciao

ameanderingmango said...

Hi Mary - thanks for dropping by and the lovely comment - much appreciated...

This pasta dish is simple and delicious - the recipe is a keeper. Thanks!

Karen S Booth said...

That looks stunning! I do love a good hearty pasta for an Autumn meal.
Karen @ Lavender and Lovage

yummychunklet said...

The sauce on your pasta looks so hearty! Perfect for this cooler weather we've been having!

bellini said...

Lidia has never steered you wrong Mary.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Simple and sumptious. I like it. blessings ~ tanna

The Blonde Duck said...

Sounds perfect!

Becki's Whole Life said...

I have never found bucatini in the store either and I always think it looks so interesting in recipes. Love this simple sauce - pancetta must add some great flavor here. I also like that you run your tomatoes through the food mill. I am not sure why that had never occurred to me, but I love that idea..I think the whole tomatoes in the can taste better in a sauce than the diced. I usually end of crushing them with a wooden spoon, but a food mill is very smart!

Rosemary said...

I never knew where the name of the sauce came from! I love that kind of information. Not to mention the sauce! I don't often find pancetta, though. But I do happen to be making a trip "to the big city" next week! (And thanks for being such a friendly "lurker.")

Parsley Sage said...

Sounds lovely! I'm more interested in the sauce than the pasta anyway so no skin off my teeth with the mix up :)

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

Sounds (and looks) delicious and pretty easy too! I love pasta dishes for weeknight meals.

Martha said...

Sounds like a good sauce. And I use whatever is at hand -- we don't have a good selection of pasta shapes here -- nothing fancy just the standards! So I use what I can find. The sauce looks delicious.

Kim said...

These are in my favorite pastas. I love the pancetta in the sauce!

StephenC said...

As it happens, I love the bigger chewier pastas like this. Nice recipe. Thanks.

Becky said...

Hi Mary,
Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm glad that you liked what you saw.

We eat a lot of pasta in our house, so a new recipe is always welcomed.
Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe, and the history behind the name.

Carrie said...

This looks yummy! I made a very similar pasta sauce a few days back, and we loved it.

I usually keep a very large selection of pasta in my cabinets, but there was a day when I had a killer craving for baked mac n' cheese and found myself in a pickle -- I was completely out of both macaroni and shells. In the end I used bowtie noodles. It worked...kinda. ;)

Jenn said...

You could put that sauce over rice and I would eat it!! lol
Love pasta all' Amatriciana.. I actually just ordered it at our favorite Italian place two weeks ago. Mmmmmmm.. now I don't need to go out for it.. thank you!!

EliFla said...

As Italian I just can tell you: BRAVA!!!! Have a nice day, Flavia

Gloria said...

Oh Mary Look perfect and delicious! gloria

Rita said...

One of my favourite pasta sauces; simple yet perfect!
Rita

FABBY'S LIVING said...

Oh well, one learns something everyday...so simple and delicious, pasta my fav food. I have this shape of pasta, will make the weekend, thanks for sharing it...everything else looks yummy too! Hugs, FABBY

Kath said...

I love your method of saucing the pasta, Mary! It makes such a difference. I learned it well over 30 years ago from an Italian friend. Before that, I thought you just put the cooked pasta on the plate and put the sauce over it.

Barbara F. said...

One of my favorite dishes....and I prefer it with a smaller pasta, even though I can buy the thicker more 'rustic' cuts here. I love Lidia's style of cooking. xo

Elisabeth said...

Wow, Mary! Love yiour Amatrician sauce! You really did justice to this special sauce. Loved reading your post, as well!
Cavatelli pasta is a great choice for the sauce...the crevices really scoop up the rich thick sauce!
Also love the previous 1yr. and 2yrs ago. The tomato jam is superb:DDD

meeshiesmom said...

Wow this pasta sounds wonderful. I'm looking forward to the cooler weather so that we can enjoy more pasta.
Karen

Gopika Ram said...

Wow.. yummy looking pasta you have got here :D Love it any day..

Karen said...

Beautiful, Mary! Your pasta looks so authentic. I can just taste the wonderful flavor of the sauce. :-)

Neha said...

Pasta looks awesome....Yummy...

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

Super pasta dish - simple and delicious - this will be an absolute winner in our house - thanks!
Mary

Big Dude said...

This looks so simple and delicious - mom Mom made a similar one except she used bacon.

ARLENE said...

Amatriciana is one of my favorite sauces; love it over bucatini, though I'd never turn down a plate of cavatelli.

Inspired by eRecipeCards said...

looks good. I am not enough of a pasta junkie to pair different with different sauces. Plus I am trying to use more whole wheat and I usually only have a couple of choices.

Looks perfect to me!

Joanne said...

I always find it so crazy that pasta shape can influence the final dish so much! This looks great though!

Pilar said...

Mary, thank you for your beautiful words.
You have a very gorgeous blog. I love it. It´s a very taste recipe.
Sorry for my bad English.
Kisses from Spain

Coleen said...

OMGoodness, this sounds perfect for tonights dinner!!!

Ana Rita said...

Just wonderfull this pasta dish.

Kisses,
Rita

The Café Sucré Farine said...

Looks wonderful and I bet the aroma while cooking is amazing!

Merisi said...

Your picture says it all, such a delicious plate of goodness! :-)

Back in Rome they use guanciale, cured pig jowls, which have a slightly more distinctive taste than pancetta. You are right, Canadian bacon cannot impart the flavor of pancetta of guanciale. If nothing else is available, I'd rather use a small amount of pork fat from smoked ham.

I learned from an Italian friend to cook the pasta only until it is at least a minute or two shy of being al dente. That way, the pasta and the sauce have the luxury of melding together even a bit longer in the pot.

Bon appetito!

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

Looks so delicious even with a different pasta.

Fondly,
Glenda

That Girl said...

I love any pasta that grabs and holds the sauce.

Dharma said...

Mary, thanks for visiting my blog and your comments so pretty. I love your blogs, the pictures are gorgeous, there do I have my Achilles heel. I often go, greetings from Madrid.

Ginny said...

I love Italian food, and this looks really good!

Ryan said...

This is such a beautiful sauce Mary and it sounds wonderful with the pancetta! I like cavatelli-- its one of my favorite pastas. I can't wait to try this!

Kelsey said...

this pasta REALLY sounds delicious <3

mia xara said...

One tasty recipe to try in a house full of pasta lovers..My husband and my sons,yours truly as well,say THANK YOU for posting,Mary... :))

Tender Branson said...

I like the result of you breaking the rules. You should do it more often.

Diane {Created by Diane} said...

YUM! I love pasta and this dish is screaming to me, "grab a fork and dig in"

Aimee said...

Looks so tasty!! :) I can't say I've even seen that type of pasta before but need to get some now!

doel's said...

eemmm...yummy...i love pasta and your recipe looks delicious

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