Amatrice was the small town in the mountains between Lazio and Abruzzo that was tragically destroyed in the recent earthquake. Since then restaurants all over Italy have served spaghetti all’amatriciana and donated the proceeds from the sale to the victims.
Classic Italian dishes like spaghetti all’amatriciana or alla puttanesca are always cause for debate, when various schools discuss whether to include this or that ingredient. According to this tradition, the most authentic mountain version of spaghetti all’amatriciana is made without tomatoes and onion, while these ingredients are favoured by the Romans, who have adopted the recipe.
You can also hear people argue for and against the inclusion of garlic and chili or the use of bucatini versus spaghetti. The only ingredients that are absolutely indispensable in sugo all’amatriciana is guanciale and the pecorino, and unfortunately these are hard to obtain outside Italy. I sometime substitute with mild bacon or salted pork belly and Parmesan, but I’d never admit it to an Italian, unless I’m ready for a verbal fight:)
300 g dried pasta
150 g guanciale (or mild bacon)
250 ml tomato puree
50 g grated pecorino
Salt, pepper and olive oil
Dice the guanciale and fry it over low heat in a little olive oil.
Peel and chop the onion and add it to the meat.
Boil the pasta – or prepare it from scratch in the way described here.
Pour tomato puree over the fried guanciale and onion, add a crushed peperoncino and heat the sauce through.
Stir half of the grated pecorino into the sauce.
Drain the boiled pasta and toss it with all’amatriciana sauce.
The rest of the grated cheese should be sprinkled over spaghetti all’amatriciana at the table.