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Bucatini with Tomatoes, Onions, and Pancetta (Bucatini all’Amatriciana)

This recipe is one of the most popular pasta dishes in Italy. Originally, the dish called for pig’s cheek. Because this cut is so fatty, no olive oil was used. Leaner pancetta (or American-style bacon) is now the standard ingredient in this recipe, along with some olive oil to crisp the bacon.

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Andrea Carpedi]
Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Andrea Carpedi

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1 medium red onion, sliced

Pinch of hot red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary, or 1⁄4 teaspoon dried rosemary

8 slices pancetta or bacon (about 4 ounces)

1 cup white wine

1-1⁄2 cups (14-ounce can) plum tomatoes

Salt to taste

1-1⁄2 tablespoons kosher salt

1⁄2 pound bucatini pasta

1⁄4 cup grated pecorino cheese

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or medium saucepan. Add the garlic, onion, red pepper flakes, rosemary, and pancetta and cook over medium heat until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes.

    Pour the wine into the pan and continue cooking until it has almost completely evaporated. Add the tomatoes, lightly crushing them with a wooden spoon. Season with salt. Simmer for 30 minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly.

  2. In a large pot, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Add the kosher salt and pasta, mix well, and cook until al dente.

  3. Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the sauce. Sprinkle with the pecorino cheese. Stir to coat the pasta evenly with the sauce. Serve immediately.

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