Sauté the pancetta in the oil. Remove it when it browns. Then add the onion, salt and pepper. Fry the onion until its softened. Add the garlic and tomato paste – stir and coat the onion. Then the bay leaf and the rest of the bottle of wine. Raise the heat and let it reduce – about 10 minutes.
Bring the pasta water back to a boil and cook the pasta until almost done. Reserve a cup of pasta water and drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the sauce and stir as it absorbs it. Add some pasta water if the sauce is too thick.
Stir in the browned pancetta, the butter, parsley and Parmigiana. Check for seasoning. Serve with more grated Parmigiana.
Some people say Amatriciana can only be made with guanciale and served over bucatini pasta. Sometimes I make it with guanciale, sometimes with pancetta and this time I used porcetta. And I never serve it with bucatini. I find bucatini unmanageable. It has a mind of its own when you twirl it on your fork and it inevitably spots your shirt with sauce. So, I’m using short fusilli.
Pasta All ‘Amatriciana with Veal
Drain a can of plum tomatoes and cut them length-wise into ½ in. strips. Save the liquid from the can. In a frying pan, sauté porcetta until brown and crisp and remove. Brown the veal in the porcetta fat and remove it.
Lightly sauté the sliced onions in oil and add the chopped garlic in a pot. Don’t brown. Add salt, black pepper and red pepper to taste. Add the tomatoes to the onions in the pot.
Don’t add the tomato liquid until the tomatoes fry for a bit. Then add the liquid, porcetta and veal to the pot. Deglaze (the Le Fondpost tells you all about deglazing ) the pan that you browned the porcetta and veal in with ½ cup each of water and red wine and add to the sauce in the pot. Stir it and bring it to a boil. Taste for seasoning. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
Now’s the time to make the pasta. Cook it until almost done. Remove the veal from the sauce and stir in the pasta to finish cooking it in the sauce. Serve with grated cheese, maybe Pecorino Romano if you have it. Amatriciana should have a little heat to it so add lots of black or red pepper.
A simplecucina povera recipe – pasta and cauliflower – dressed up with pancetta, breadcrumbs, walnuts and currents. A friend got me this recipe from his grandmother. She was born in Trapani so I’m assuming that’s where this recipe originated. Her instructions were ‘some’ of this, ‘enough’ of that and ‘cook it until it’s done.’ I tried it a few times and this is what I came up with. (Bacon is not a substitute for pancetta. It’s too smokey. If you don’t have pancetta, use some diced pork or no meat at all.)
Soak the currents in warm water for 15 minutes. Sauté pancetta until it starts to brown then add breadcrumbs. Mix and brown crumbs, then add walnuts and drained currents. Mix and simmer for a few minutes, then remove and wipe out pan.
Add oil to pan and put in cauliflower, salt and pepper, on medium heat. Cook until lightly browned on all sides and softened.
In a pot, sauté onion in oil, salt and pepper. When the onion is softened and transparent, add the stock. When it comes to a boil add the pasta and when it’s almost done add the cauliflower. Deglaze the cauliflower pan with the wine (or water) and add that to the pot. Stir and simmer for a few minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the parsley and pancetta-bread crumb mix and stir. It’s ready to serve.