|1. Life / Food & Drink / Recipes|
1. Life / Food & Drink / Breads, Cereals, Grains, Pulses & Pasta
Bucatini all'Amatriciana is supposedly named after the town of Amatrice in the Appenine hills to the northeast of Rome. Whether this is true or not, the dish is now one of the signature dishes of Roman cookery. You may find versions of the dish in Italian restaurants around the world, but the consensus is that you will never find it done better than in its adopted home city.
Bucatini is a strange looking long tubular pasta, bearing a striking resemblance to a drinking straw. It's a perfect style of pasta for this recipe, each piece is a solid mouthful. The sauce is sparing in its quantity yet fiery in its flavour.
To serve four people:
- 500g Bucatini
- 200g Streaky bacon
- 1 Small can (200g) plum tomatoes
- 1tbsp Tomato Puré
- 1tsp Dried chili flakes
- 30ml Olive oil
- 50g Pecorino Romano cheese
Cook the bucatini according to the instructions on the packet, taking great care not to overcook the pasta. One of the problems with bucatini is that it really does need a large pan to cook in. Unlike spaghetti which can be forced into a smaller pan, bucatini is a thicker pasta, and the ends won't bend as it's forced under the water. Thus, if the diameter of the pan isn't greater than the length of the pasta, you may end up with bucatini that is overcooked at one end and undercooked at the other.
Cut the bacon into matchstick-size pieces and cook gently in the olive oil until the fat turns transparent. This should take about 5 minutes. A tip: if you slightly cook the bacon before cutting, it becomes easier to handle and chop into the smallest pieces.
Once the bacon is cooked, add the tomatoes, tomato puré
e, and chilli flakes. Continue cooking until the tomato reduces to a thick and sticky paste. This should take about 7 to 10 minutes.
Mix the finished tomato and bacon paste with the cooked bucatini, together with the Pecorino cheese. Stir well and serve immediately.
If you don't have a pan big enough to cook the bucatini properly, or if you can't find it for sale - as it is a fairly rare style of pasta for the UK - any other type of long pasta, such as linguine or tagliatelle, can be used as a substitute.
Adding a dash of Balsamic vinegar to the tomato as it cooks gives the sauce a rich and darker colour. If you do this, it's a good idea to add a teaspoon of sugar as well to offset the additional acidity of the vinegar.
Additional ingredients can be added to the sauce to taste, including chopped black olives or anchovies.
Pecorino cheese has a particularly powerful flavour. If this is too strong for you, Parmesan is a perfectly good substitute.
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