Bucatini all’Amatriciana

Bucatini pasta pairs perfectly with a spicy Amatriciana sauce

Amatriciana is a spicy red sauce that is very simple to make, and traditionally served over Bucatini (long tubular pasta noodles). Here is a version I like:

* 1 cup of diced pancetta
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 1 medium yellow or white onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
* 1 28-ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes, coarsely chopped
with juices reserved (you can puree if you like)
* 1 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes (more if you like it hot!)
* 1 pound dry bucatini or spaghetti
* Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, for serving

1. Add pancetta to a skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly crisp, about 3 minutes more. Add butter, if needed, then add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes and their juices and a generous pinch of salt. sprinkle in crushed chile flakes, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer uncovered until sauce is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.*
3. While sauce simmers, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil and cook bucatini according to the package directions. Reserve about 1/4 cup pasta cooking water, drain pasta but do not rinse, add to the frying pan, and toss to coat in sauce. Add reserved pasta water if needed to thin the sauce.
4. Transfer to serving plates, sprinkle with Pecorino Romano, and serve immediately.

*If you really like spicy, you might want to do what I do and add a couple of healthy squirts of Sriracha (Vietnamese hot sauce, the most famous of which has a green cap and a rooster on the bottle – hence its common name of “rooster sauce.”) If you dare!

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