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Summer Amatriciana Pasta Recipe

This Is the Pasta You'll Be Making All Summer


Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Erin Cullum

Amatriciana is a classic Roman tomato sauce that translates as "in the style of Amatrice," which is a town in central Italy. Traditionally made of guanciale (pork cheek), tomatoes, and pecorino cheese, it's a step above your average tomato sauce, and this Summer Amatriciana recipe from Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes From an Ancient City brings basil into the mix for a seasonal, fresh twist on a classic. The sauce is both light and hearty at the same time, and this meal would be perfect to serve at a Summer dinner party.

While I've had guanciale in Italian restaurants before, I wasn't able to get it at my local grocery store, so I used pancetta instead. The salty pork is similar enough and it works just as well (just look at those crispy strips!). As you're following this recipe, the only change I would make is to add the pasta water to the tomatoes before adding the pasta itself. Note that you'll want to pay attention to how much water you add to the tomatoes; less is more. The recipe calls for adding enough to nearly cover the pasta, but I recommend adding just one tablespoon at a time, as needed, until a tomato sauce forms (then add the pasta back into the pan and toss to coat). If your sauce is too watery, you can let it simmer and reduce until it thickens before adding the pasta back into the pan.


Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Erin Cullum


Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Erin Cullum


Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Anna Monette Roberts


Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Erin Cullum

Amatriciana Estiva (Summer Amatriciana)

From Tasting Rome by Katie Parla and Kristina Gill

Summer Amatriciana Pasta Recipe

Ingredients

  1. 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
    3 ounces guanciale (or pancetta), cut into matchsticks
    1 garlic clove, smashed
    1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes, halved
    6 to 8 fresh basil leaves
    Sea salt
    1 pound bombolotti or another short, tubular, ridged pasta
    1/2 cup grated pecorino romano

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the guanciale. Cook, stirring, until golden brown and very crisp, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel to drain. Remove half the rendered fat from the pan and discard, or reserve for another use like vodka al guanciale. Add the garlic to the pan. Cook until the garlic just turns golden, about 10 minutes, then add the tomatoes. Increase the heat to medium and cook until the tomatoes lose their shape, about 10 minutes, then stir in the basil.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Salt the water. When the salt has dissolved, add the pasta. Cook until very al dente, then drain, reserving the cooking water.
  3. Add the pasta to the sauce in the skillet and stir to coat. Add enough reserved pasta cooking water to nearly cover the pasta. Simmer, adding more cooking water as needed. When the pasta is al dente, remove the skillet from the heat. Add 1/4 cup of the pecorino romano and mix well. Add half the guanciale and stir well. Season to taste.
  4. Plate and sprinkle each portion with some of the remaining pecorino romano and guanciale. Serve immediately.


Source: Reprinted from Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City. Copyright © 2016 by Katie Parla and Kristina Gill. Photographs copyright © 2016 by Kristina Gill. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

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