Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bucatini Alla Amatricana

As the seasons change, so do our taste buds as we look for homey, heartier dishes in order to help prepare for the cold winter months. This week, we will be featuring a pasta dish that is sure to fit the bill:  Bucatini Alla Amatricana.

Amatricana, named for the city of Amatrice near Rome, is a tomato-based sauce made with guanciale and pecorino or reggiano cheese. For those of you who don't know, guanciale is an unsmoked Italian bacon prepared with pig's jowl or cheeks. Its name is derived from guancia, Italian for cheek. Guanciale is packed with a ton of texture and flavor which makes the dish stand out.

When guanciale is not available, Amatricana can be made with pancetta; however, it is considered improper.  The Amatriciana is Italian cooking at its best, and the people of Amatrice actually frown upon alterations to this dish!

As we prepare this sauce with a low simmer (using the "correct" ingredients of course!) in order to marry all of the flavors, the aromas we get to experience throughout the kitchen are amazing! Combining guanciale, tomatoes, onions, cracked red pepper and garlic all sauteed in balsamic vinegar and olive oil creates a thick ,hearty sauce that is then served over bucatini pasta. This dish is topped with freshly grated Italian parmesan reggiano.

Although we always hope to put our little twist on the traditional, sometimes just being traditional is what we are hoping for. This is one of the most well known pasta dishes in Italy that dates back to the 18th century. Come try this classic Italian pasta dish that is filled with tons of flavor!

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