The first time I had this dish was on a culinary trip to Florence with Jacques Pepin back in the mid-90’s. It was served at the hotel we were staying at the first 2 days of the trip. Since then, this spicy pasta dish has been a mainstay in my household due to it’s ease of preparation and nature of the ingredients (most can be stored in your pantry). If you can find the unusual bucatini pasta (it is a spaghetti type noodle with a hole running through the center) you will make it a favorite in your home as well!
Bucatini Amatraciana-serves 4-6
1 medium white onion-chopped
1-2 T. olive oil (not extra virgin)
2 good sized cloves of garlic-minced
4 thick slices of pancetta, chopped into small pieces (available at most meat counters of stores-I freeze slices of it in my freezer to have on hand)
1 small can Hunts Tomato Sauce
1 cup+ Chicken Stock
1 t. red pepper flakes
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
1 pound of Bucatini Pasta – cooked to al dente
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano
Sauté onion in olive oil in large saute pan until quite tender and translucent. Add garlic, sauté for a minute on medium and then add pancetta pieces. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Proceed to add Tomato Sauce, Chicken Stock, Red pepper flakes, and Salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 2 minutes on medium. Add warm, just boiled and drained bucatini pasta to sauce and mix together (pasta will absorb the sauce) and serve with grated pecorino cheese. Lovely with a simple garden salad and warm Italian bread. Delish!
Can also add cooked Italian sausage, cooked ripini (broccoli rabe) or white beans (cannellini beans).