Mirko's Amatriciana Sauce
Amatriciana Sauce is a traditional Italian pasta recipe made with Pancetta, or if you're lucky enough to find it, dried pork cheek. Then blended with wine and a rich and thick tomato sauce, then topped with pecorino cheese to create a hearty and flavorful Italian pasta recipe.
My Roman friend Mirko made this for my guests and I on Easter Sunday a few years ago. It was a terrific pasta accompaniment to our delicious and traditional lamb. We devoured them both to completion.
It was a Buona Pasqua to remember!
While we waited for our feast we all hung out and cooked, drank good wine, talked, laughed, sang Italian songs and of course the most important part, ATE the delicious Amatriciana sauce and pasta while we waited for the lamb. If any of you have spent any time in Italy during the holidays you would know that holiday feasts are an all day event. Plate after plate, course after course, is brought out as it is completed and nobody, and I do mean nobody leaves hungry or able to button their pants for that matter.
Rome, being in the Lazio region of Italy is right next door to Rieti, a small mountain side town where this recipe derives. Also known as the local ski hot spot for Romans and their Pecorino cheese. A typical mountain cheese made from sheep's milk. Similar to parmigiano in density but much sharper and slightly saltier. It has the boldness to stand up to the smokey flavor of the pancetta and makes the perfect match for this delicious sauce!
Romans have adopted Alla'matriciana and integrated it into their cuisine.
Mirko made his with fusilli bucatini. Perfecto! A hearty and hollow, spiral pasta shape you'll find on my pasta shapes page.
Being a very good cook, his food is always a delight. An added bonus to the fact that I didn't have to do all the cooking.
Amatriciana Sauce Ingredients
- 1 lb Fusilli Bucatini
- 1 lb thick slice pancetta, cubed (smoked bacon is an option)
- ½ large onion chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 28oz San Marzano tomatoes.
- 1 cup freshly grated Locatelli (pecorino)
Because both the pancetta and the Locatelli (a brand of pecorino) are very salty you do not want to add salt during cooking. You can always add it later if you want.
Preparing the Amatriciana Sauce
Start by heating a deep sauce pan at medium heat. Add the cubed pancetta and saute until tender and slightly crisp on the outside. Drain most of the fat.
Add the onions and the garlic to the pan and sauté until the onions and garlic are tender. Splash in half of the white wine and sauté .
Turn the heat to medium high and add the rest of the white wine so you can deglaze the pan. Stirring consistently until the pan is deglazed and the wine has partially evaporated. Now add the San Marzano tomatoes and lower the heat to low.
Cover the amatriciana recipe and simmer on low for about 30 to 45 minutes.
Begin cooking your pasta.
When the pasta is cooked al dente, remove from the water heat and drain. I like to rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process, drizzle with olive oil and when the sauce is ready…
Add the pasta to the sauce pan and stir!
Serving the Bucatini with Amatriciana Sauce
I like to serve my pasta family style. In a huge bowl set down in the middle of the table.
Place a large chunk of pecorino on a side plate with a cheese grater and add as much or as little as you desire and a loaf of crusty bread and plenty of wine are a must!
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