Friday, October 26, 2012

Bucatini all'Amatriciana [Rhonda]

Degree of difficulty: easy
Time: the red sauce takes 30 minutes, the Amatriciana part takes 20 minutes
Serves: 8 to 10

Like Tom and June--and possibly all the guests from Lauren and Zack's tiny Italian wedding--Michael and I are already missing Asciano and all the great meals we had in Tuscany. Bucatini all'Amatriciana fills the void. It's based on the recipe in Mario Batali's Molto Italiano cookbook, can easily be doubled to serve a big crowd, and freezes well.

Make the red sauce first.

Tomato Sauce
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Spanish onions, cut into 1/4 inch dice
8 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup red wine
6 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme (be sure to use fresh, as it makes a big difference)
1/2 medium carrot, finely shredded
Four 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes
Salt to taste

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for five minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 5 more minutes. Pour the red wine over the onions and reduce  a bit. Add the thyme and carrot and cook until carrot is soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes (drain some of their juice out), breaking them up into small chunks, and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
18 ounces thinly sliced guanciale, pancetta or good bacon (I used uncured bacon, cut into small pieces)
2 red onions, cut lengthwise in half and then into 1/4-inch thick half-moons
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 teaspoons hot red pepper flakes (or to taste)
Tomato sauce (see above recipe)
1 to 1/2 pounds bucatini
Freshly grated pecorino romano or parmigiano-reggiano

Bring a large pot of water to boil for the bucatini.

Meanwhile, saute the bacon in a large saute pan (in batches) until done but not cripsy. Remove bacon from pan, retaining drippings. Pour off some of the drippings and cook the onions and garlic in the saute pan. Sprinkle with hot red pepper flakes. Stir onion mixture and reserved bacon into tomato sauce.

Cook bucatini (or fettucine in my case, since we were out of bucatini) to al dente. Drain. Mix a little of the sauce into the noodles, Stir. Plate. Add mounds of Amatriciana sauce to top the noodles, sprinkle the grated cheese over and serve.

Suggested soundtrack: Luciano Pavarotti's "Torna a Sorrento"
Come Back to Sorrento by Luciano Pavarotti on Grooveshark

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