Bucatini all’ Amatriciana
This recipe is part of the series City break in Rome
Rome is one of the world’s culinary capitals, famous for its pasta, pizza and gelato. Like many villages, towns and cities across Italy, Rome has developed a unique repertoire of recipes, based on local ingredients and honed to perfection across time. The cannon of Roman dishes is filled with pasta recipes, two of these rise to the top, Carbonara and Bucatini all’ Amatriciana
Hana and I both tried this dish when we were in Rome. I tried it on the first night and Hana on the second and both of us really liked this dish. I have tried similar recipes before and made pretty similar meals at home but I thought the way that Bucatini all’ Amatriciana was prepared in Rome was much better than I had eaten back in the UK. That might just be the bias of being on holiday surrounded by the sights and sounds of Rome, but it tasted really good! Of the two restaurants where we tried this, I preferred the second restaurant where Hana had this, but I’ll mention that in the next post in this series, day two in Rome.
As I said this is was the first recipe from my trip to Rome which I then cooked when I got back home. It took me a couple of weeks to get around to actually writing about it, but not nearly as long to cook. I started be researching the recipe and found that like many Italian dishes there are as many subtle variations as there are Italian families. I’m sure for anyone from Rome or Italy reading this they will pull their hair out as I have left something out or added something to the recipe. So in the end this is my recipe for Bucatini all’ Amatriciana, as authentic a recipe as I could put together.
Bucatini all’ Amatriciana recipe
Ingredients for 2 generous portions
1 teaspoon olive oil
350g pancetta or cooking bacon
1 onion (finely chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
1tsp dried chilli flakes
100 ml rose wine (traditionally this would be red wine, but I only had rose)
1 tin chopped tomatoes (450g)
250g bucatini pasta. (if you can’t get this use linguine instead)
6tbsp parmigiano reggiano cheese
Freshly ground pepper (to taste)
Prepare the onion and garlic by finely slicing them. Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the pancetta or cubed bacon and fry this till it starts to brown then remove from the pan and pop on a place for later.
Now add the onion to the pan, turn down the heat and gently fry till soft and translucent then add the garlic and dried chilli flakes. Stir together and cook for 2 minutes before adding the wine. Bring to the boil to boil off the alcohol. Reduce the heat and add the tinned tomatoes. Stir everything together, taste and add salt and pepper to your taste. Cook gently for 25 minutes or so, till reduced and the sauce has thickened.
Whilst the sauce is cooking, pop a pan of water on to boil and when at a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook according to pack instructions.
Drain the pasta and add to the reduced sauce along with the the pancetta/ cooking bacon and the parmesan. Warm everything through for a couple of minutes, the cheese should melt into the sauce.
Serve with a peppery green salad.
For more posts on my city breaks in Rome series, including on what I got up to and the beautiful food I tried. See my series on Rome.
Recipe, text and photos By Russell Bowes