Sometimes I can’t believe how long it takes me get down to writing about some of my favorites.
Amitriciana is a really nice easy peasy pasta and that is wonderful as a weeknight special just because it doesn’t have loads of prep work nor does it have loads of ingredients. The recipe originated in Amatrice in but is quite popular today and easily found in restaurant menus all over Rome.
With one change – in Rome, Bucatini is used instead of Spaghetti.
AT the heart of the sauce is guanciale – cured pork cheeks. I find it terribly difficulty to find in the market so its cousin the pancetta is my quick, go to cured meat of choice. So the base of the sauce is the meat sautéed with onions and stewed for a bit with red pepper flakes.
Depending on the version of the sauce and the region of Italy cooking it, anchovies are added. I love mine with anchovies so it’s a YES for me and so are sliced black olives that comes from no region in Italy but for the fact I love them in the sauce. Hey! At least I’m honest!
Finally it is topped with loads of grated Pecorino – not Parmigiano Reggiano, just plain and simple Pecorino.
Here’s a factoid for a bit of a chuckle, this pasta seems quite similar to its vegetarian cousin – Pasta alla Puttanesca which basically translates to Pasta of the whores because turns out the ladies of the night would entice ‘clients’ with bowl of this steaming lovely (only in Italy peeps!)
But hang on! Shouldn’t the one with the pork be the Putanesca then and the vegetarian version be Amitriciana considering the implication of the trade and all? Confused much?!
Either way, make the pasta, tell the story among friends at the dinner table sans children of course & Enjoy!