An eternal classic from the Eternal City. Spaghetti all’Amatriciana originally hails from the town Amatrice, a town that suffered greatly in the earthquake of 2016. Spaghetti all’Amatriciana is made throughout the central Italian region of Lazio and is considered a staple in Rome, where it’s made with bucatini. Traditionally made with guanciale, it is a comforting, rustic dish with a superb balance of flavors: there’s the tangy and sweet tomatoes, rich guanciale and spicy crushed red pepper flakes which perfectly coat the al dente pasta. Eternally yours from your Nonna.
Bring 6 quarts of water and 3 tablespoons of kosher salt to a rolling boil.
In a deep saute pan, add the guanciale and slowly raise the heat to medium to render the fat, about 5 minutes. Add the olive oil, onion and ½ teaspoon of salt and cook over medium high heat until lightly golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper. Stir to soften the garlic and bloom the crushed red pepper, about 30 seconds. Pour the tomatoes into a large bowl and break them up with your hands. Add the crushed tomatoes to the saute pan and stir in the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for approximately 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the spaghetti to the boiling water. Cook one minute shy of al dente, according to the package instructions.
Reserve 1 cup pasta water and drain pasta.
Adjust seasonings to the sauce as needed. Add the pasta to the saute pan along with ¼ cup of pasta water. Raise the heat to high and toss to coat. Add more pasta water as needed to create a silky smooth consistency. Serve with freshly grated cheese and crushed red pepper as desired.
Enjoy your Spaghetti all’Amatriciana!