Spicing Things Up by Robin Nathan

BucatiniPancettaOk, so the holidays are over. It’s dark at 4:30. It’ll be months until the weather’s warm again. We can moan about it, or we can pick up our pans and do something about it!  I say, fight dreary with flavor!

I’ve got the first salvo right here. A classic pasta dish from the central Italian town Amatrice, a few hours east of Rome, it’s traditionally made with bucatini pasta and pancetta, but you can substitute bacon or even turkey bacon for the pancetta. Bucatini is a long, round noodle – about the size of spaghetti, but it’s hollow. The first time I ate it, I quickly realized you can’t slurp it – the hollowness makes it like a straw! You can slurp, but nothing happens! So eating it is a great way to brush up on your pasta twirling skills.  You won’t get much practice, though. It’ll be gone faster than the 10 minutes it takes to make!

Bucatini all’ Amatriciana
Serves 4
  1. 8 oz. pancetta, diced
  2. olive oil
  3. 1 yellow onion, diced
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. ½ t. dried red chile flake
  6. 12 oz. whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand, juices reserved
  7. 1 pound bucatini pasta
  8. grated Pecorino Romano
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. When it boils, add the pasta and cook 7-8 minutes, or until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, put the pancetta into a large skillet and render it for about 8 minutes, until some of the fat has melted off, but the pancetta is still on the soft side. Add a little olive oil if you need to keep it from sticking at the beginning. Drain off all but 2 Tablespoons of the drippings. Add the onion to the skillet and cook until translucent, then add the garlic and chile flake and cook 30 seconds. Pour in the tomatoes. Season to taste with salt. Simmer gently.
  3. Drain the pasta and add it directly to the skillet with the sauce. Toss for a minute or two to combine.
  4. Tong into bowls and garnish liberally with Pecorino Romano.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

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