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Spaghetti with Bacon and Tomato
How to Make True Traditional Spaghetti Amatriciana Recipe Like the Romans Do
4 - 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 oz (115 gr) pancetta, diced (or substitute with un-smoked bacon)
crushed red pepper
2 cups (500 gr) tomato, finely diced
1 lb (450 gr) pasta (bucatini, ziti, spaghetti, or rigatoni)
1/4 cup (50 gr) pecorino romano cheese, freshly grated
Use Italian pancetta, or substitute with seasoned and cured unsmoked bacon. The best pasta for this dish is bucatini, very long tubes that come in different sizes. If you are not too skilled in rolling pasta with a fork, cut the bucatini in pieces 2 – 4 inch (5 – 10 cm) long: If bucatini is not short enough, during eating they will begin winding and will splash the sauce.
In a frying pan, pour the olive oil, and add the bacon, and generous red pepper.
Sauté over low heat until bacon is lightly browned.
Add tomatoes, and cook for approximately 10 minutes, until sauce is thicker.
Cook the pasta in abundant salt water following manufacturer's instructions. Taste for readiness from time to time, until al dente (firm but not too soft or overcooked).
Drain and transfer to a bowl.
Top with the sauce . . . .
. . . add freshly grated cheese . . . .
. . . . and toss thoroughly. Serve at once.
This dish originated in a town named Amatrice, located in the Appennini Mountains, near Rome. This area is famous throughout Italy for its production of wonderful pork meats, and for this dish.
There is a Roman recipe called Pasta alla Gricia, a dish of pasta dressed only with bacon and pecorino cheese. For centuries, it has been made not only in Rome, but all over central Italy. About fifty years ago apparently, a cook from Amatrice, in an effort to give a personal touch to the dish, added tomato, creating what we today call Amatriciana.
There is an ongoing dispute about how the “true” Amatriciana should be cooked. Some use onion, or garlic, or both in the preparation, others don’t. Everybody agrees that absolutely no cream should be used.