This dish is named for a small town in Italy called Amatrice. It’s base is a pork product called guanciale, which is pig jowl, and it tastes like a porkier version of bacon or pancetta. The traditional noodle for this is bucatini, which is a thick spaghetti with a hole like a straw. It’s a messy one to eat, so don’t wear white! It’s a treat to find some guanciale, and I always have to make this when I see it at the store. You can certainly substitute pancetta or bacon, but if you can find guanciale you should try it. This dish is delicious and so easy.
1/2 pound bucatini
1/2 onion, chopped
1 can San Marzano tomatoes or cherry tomatoes (I prefer)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8- 1/4 pound guanciale, diced
Cook the bucatini in well-salted water a minute less than the package instructions. Reserve some of the pasta cooking water.
Meanwhile, render the guanciale in a frying pan for a few minutes. I like to leave it a little soft, so I don’t wait until it gets crispy. Add the onion and garlic and saute until soft. Add the red pepper flakes and stir to infuse the guanciale fat. Add the tomatoes and cook for a minute. Add the bucatini and some of the reserved pasta water and cook for the final minute together. Grate some parmesan or pecorino over the top and enjoy!