Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Last night I made another traditional Roman dish for dinner and again it's easy, has only six ingredients (plus spices), and is incredibly delicious.

According to wikipedia and a recipe book, Amatriciana originated in the hills outside Rome as a dish shepherds cooked with simple and cheap ingredients. It calls for guanciale (pork cheek that tastes a lot like bacon), pecorino romano, tomatoes, garlic, onions, salt/pepper/red pepper flakes, and pasta. Around Rome I usually see Buccatini all'amatriciana, but I had no buccatini, so I made linguine all'amatriciana! But the pasta can easily be substituted for another long thin variety. To make this in the US look for an Italian grocer that carries panchetta if guanciale isn't available.

1. Chop up 2 pieces of (SUPER FATTY) guanciale into long cubes, then brown in oil for about 2 minutes. Remove the guanciale and keep the oil.

2. Finely mince half an onion and a clove of garlic.

 3. To skip this step, just use a can of crush tomatoes. If you're using fresh tomatoes you'll need to remove the skins. This was my first time trying this process and it worked like a charm! Just cut an X into the bottom of the tomatoes, toss into boiling water for about 20 seconds, then into cold/ice water until they cool, and peel the skins right off.

4. As you're peeling the tomatoes, start cook the onion and garlic in the leftover oil for about 5 minutes, make sure not to brown. Chop the peeled tomatoes and throw into the pot with garlic and onion.

5. The waiting game... let your sauce cook down, probably for about 30 minutes. Start a pot of water boiling and cook the pasta at your leisure. Grate the pecorino, enough to top both plates.

6. When the sauce is ready it'll look something like this ...

7. Finally toss the al dente pasta in the sauce pan to coat, plate, then cover with pecorino. Facile!


  1. You'll be in charge of the kitchen when you get home.

  2. You buy the groceries and I'll do the cooking! Get excited for some Roman food!