Fettuccine col rancetto
You have to be Italian, to appreciate the subtle difference between fettuccine col rancetto and all’amatriciana. Both are simple pasta dishes with a magnificent taste.
The recipe for fettuccine col rancetto originates in Spoleto, Umbria, a few hundred kilometres North of the earthquake ridden village Amatricia that has given name to the popular pasta dish.
While spaghetti all’amatriciana is made with guanciale, white wine, tomatoes, peperoncino and pecorino, fettuccine col rancetto replaces chili with onion, and purists insist on the use of slightly rancid meat. I’m content with using pancetta dolce or cured pork prior to the sell-by date, but I wouldn’t substitute pork for bacon, as the smoky flavour tends to dominate the otherwise rather delicate flavours. I also prefer to serve the dish with homemade fettucine and a sauce made from fresh tomatoes, but good quality pasta and canned tomatoes can be used instead.
350 g fettuccine
10 fresh San Marzano tomatoes
100 g pancetta dolce in tiny cubes (pork belly or pork jowls)
Olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh marjoram.
Bring a pot of water to the boil. Cut a cross in each tomato and blanch then in the boiling water for a few minutes.
Transfer the tomatoes to cold, icy water and peel off the skin.
Fry the pork in olive oil until most of the fat has melted.
Peel and chop the onion, and add it to the frying pork.
When the onions have become transparent, add skinned tomatoes and a little water to the pot. Add salt to taste.
Let the sauce simmer over low heat, while you cook the fettuccine
When the fettuccine is done, it should be drained and mixed with the sauce.
Sprinkle the fettuccine col rancetto with fresh marjoram leaves and serve it with plenty of grated pecorino.