So let me start with a disclaimer: I am not Italian. I have visited Italy, but I have very little knowledge of authentic Italian cuisine. However, I do know what I like to eat! And this Pasta Amatriciana all started with a local restaurant which has since closed. Trust me, after tasting Pasta Amatriciana you won’t care if it is authentic or not. Best of all you won’t believe how simple it is!
I first had this sauce at a tiny Italian restaurant in my neighborhood. Was it authentic? Probably not, but who really cared, the food was fantastic! My favorites at this little gem were chicken parmesan, a pizza with thinly sliced potatoes and chipotle sauce, and Pasta Amatriciana. The pasta was spicy, full of pancetta and delicious over homemade noodles. Sadly, this restaurant recently closed, so I’ve had to take some time to figure out how to make this dish at home.
Of course there will be those who say that authentic Amatriciana does not have onions in it. There will be some who will say that authentic Amatriciana does not contain garlic. Seems to be a lot of controversy about this. Solving this controversy was super easy for me. Do I like onions? YES. Do I like garlic? YES. Didn’t take much to decide to add both to my recipe.
Since I know you’re going to want to make this recipe at home, pin the photo below to your Pinterest boards-and then follow us on Pinterest!
- 8 ounces pancetta, diced into pieces approximately ¼ inch thick
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 medium onion, finely diced (approximately 1 cup)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- freshly grated parmesan cheese to taste
- 16 ounces pasta (spaghetti, bucatini or angel hair)
- In a large skillet, render fat from pancetta over medium low heat. Don't rush this step, this may take 20 minutes or so. Resist the temptation to increase the heat. (low and slow is the way to go)
- Remove crispy pancetta with a slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel lined plate.
- Add the red pepper flakes and onions to the pancetta fat which remains in the skillet, sauté for 3 minutes or until onions are soft and translucent.
- Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Add crushed tomatoes, crispy pancetta, salt,and a pinch of freshly ground pepper and then stir well.
- Simmer for 30 minutes.
- While sauce is simmering, cook pasta to al dente (according to package directions).
- Drain slightly undercooked pasta and set aside.
- When pasta has simmered for 30 minutes, add pasta to skillet and simmer an additional 2 minutes.
- Taste and add additional salt and freshly ground pepper as needed.
- Place pasta into bowls.
- Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
I think this last photo sums it up…if you have Pasta Amatriciana, LIFE IS GOOD!