My Amatriciana sauce

Here is a dish famous not only in Italy but also far outside our borders. This is the famous ‘bucatini amatriciana’, a pasta dish from the village of Amatrice Rieti, now made all around the world thanks to its unusual, unmistakeable and, let's face it, irresistible flavour. The main ingredients of this dish are pancetta, tomato and cheese. Today our chef wanted to have fun and to propose a new version of this classic and famous amatriciana, with caramelised tomatoes which he made instead of the more usual sauce, some excellent pancetta, Provencal herbs and a hint of chilli. If you will, the result is a sort of cross between the amatriciana and ‘gricia’ sauce, perhaps less famous but equally good!

Ingredients

  • lard Two 7mm thick slices of lard or pancetta
  • onions ½ a red onion
  • white wine
  • vine tomatoes
  • sugar
  • herbs Provencal herbs (or simply oregano and thyme)
  • chilli
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • spaghetti 200 grams Pasta code no. 8
Information
30 minutes Total time
Serves 2 persons
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Preparation

In this recipe we make two types of tomato sauce: ‘caramelised’ tomatoes, and normal amatriciana sauce which has the onion and pancetta and tomatoes made separately. For the caramelised tomatoes: wash the tomatoes and cut a cross in the skin on the opposite side to the stem. Boil a pot of water (which you will use to cook the pasta). When it reaches the boil, throw in the tomatoes and leave for 1 minute. Remove them from the water and you will be able to easily peel the tomatoes. Cut them into slices and remove the watery part, so you get only the pulp; transfer them all in to small bowl and flavour with olive oil, sugar and herbs. Heat a pan and then caramelise the tomatoes, browning them really well; then set aside. For the amatriciana sauce : cut the onion into large wedges, cut the pancetta into chunks of 2½cm, chop half a red chilli, then sauté everything in a pan with a little oil. As soon as everything starts to fry, pour in a little white wine in order to lower the temperature; you now need to continue to add wine and then water until the onion and pancetta is softened. Once the pancetta and onion are nicely done, add the caramelised tomatoes and if the spaghetti is ready, add it to the sauce in the pan for half a minute. Here's the amatriciana, which will have a sweet and slightly spicy flavour.

Tips
Every chef likes to customize their recipes and it must be said that amatriciana sauce has undergone various changes and customizations over time: there should be no criticism if you also decide to make this pasta dish in your own way, alternating the use of garlic or onion, for example, using fresh tomatoes instead of tomato sauce, different forms of pancetta or salami, and so on. In short, my advice is to experiment!
Trivia
Amatriciana sauce is so famous that in 2008 the Italian Republic issued a stamp that celebrates its ingredients and recipe.

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