No Regrets Spaghetti all'Amatriciana
This classic recipe impresses with its simplicity and with its great blend of aromas.
- 100 grams guanciale
- 200 grams dried spaghetti
- 400 grams canned tomatoes
- 100 grams pecorino cheese
- salt to taste
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- green chili to taste
- Cutting board
- Pasta plates
- Cheese grater
We are crazy pasta lovers. From homemade pasta dough to preshaped types such as tortellini, we love them all. We are not pretentious when it comes to the sauce either. Give us a simple or complex pasta dish, and we will eat it all no question asked.
However, I wanted to go back to the roots of this recipe and keep it as classic as possible. Yes, you could probably make it less fatty, but you only live once, so why would you?
With this wonderful thought in mind, let's see what you need to do to cook an amazing Spaghetti all'Amatriciana plate.
The first thing that I want to talk about is the 'guanciale' ingredient. The possibility of you not hearing of it is a big one but don't worry because you will most probably find it easily.
So, guanciale is a piece of fat cured pork meat, similar to non-smoked bacon, which is made from the pork's cheeks. Now, if you cannot get ahold of this kind of meat cut, you can substitute it with pancetta. The important thing you need to remember here is that you want a cured meat and not a smoked one.
Great! Almost there.
- Your number one task will be to put a big pot of water and salt to boil. Once the boiling starts, add the pasta and cook it for a minute less than what the instructions specify.
- Next, put a pan on medium-low and heat it up. During this time, you need to cut the meat. You will want thin cuts of about 1 cm long. You want them to get some crispy texture but not to intrude when you take a bite, if you know what I mean.
- Once the meat is cut, add it to the pan and let it to fry for 5 minutes or so. It needs to leave its fat in the pan and become crispy.
- While you wait for the guanciale to cook, put the tomatoes in a blender and turn them into a fine paste. I usually prefer crushing these tomatoes by hand, but you want a very smooth paste for this recipe.
- Now, take the meat out of the pan and let it rest on a plate. Don't discard the oil. You will need it for the sauce.
- Put the pan back on the stove and pour the tomato sauce on top of the oil. Leave it on medium heat to boil for a few minutes. After that, bring back 3/4 of the guanciale, leaving some bids for the final garnish.
- If my estimations are correct, by this time, your pasta should have boiled. Drain the water but reserve some for the sauce. You will need half of cup or so.
- Bring the spaghetti to the pan along with the reserved water and mix everything gently not to break anything. Let it simmer for a minute or two.
- Grate the cheese and add it to the pan as well. Mix everything once more to combine the sauce with the cheese and have all pasta coated with this goodness. Taste and see if it needs more salt. I doubt it, but better check before you add some.
- Plate the pasta. Top it with freshly ground pepper, the remaining guanciale, and fresh green chili.
For a short history discussion, this recipe has its origins way back to the Roman Empire. It is believed that its ancestor to be a dish called Pasta alla Gricia, which was actually the white version of this recipe.
Now, the first record of pasta made with some kind of tomato sauce is from the 18th century and was written down by a chef called Francesco Leonardi.
As for its name, this is a very short story to tell. This final dish comes from a town near Rome called Amatrice so hence the name.
* Some versions of this recipe include onion. However, as much as I like onion in most of the dishes, I prefer to skip it for this one. Also, if you are not a spicy person, you can easily leave the green chili out since it is not traditional but only my touch.
** Don't forget to give us a tag on Instagram when you prepare this recipe.
Nutrition Facts / Serving
- Calories 716
- Total Fat 46 g
- Cholesterol 0 mg
- Sodium 1209 mg
- Potassium 1 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 40 g
- Sugars 5 g
- Protein 28 g