Spaghetti all’ amatriciana
This dish is about 'less is more', let the ingredients do the talking.
Serves 4 as a starter I 30 mintues
2 tbsp olive oil
150g guanciale di Amatrice (cured pork cheek or jowl), cut into half-matchstick pieces (or bacon instead)
500ml tomato passata
350g best quality thick spaghetti, such as gragnano or
bucatini (or regular spaghetti)
100g grated pecorino cheese (or Parmesan or any hard cheese), plus extra to serve
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. In a heavy based frying pan heat 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add the chopped Guanciale and cook until light brown. Do NOT remove the excess fat as this is what makes the sauce so tasty. Add the tomato passata and cook slowly until the sauce has reduced by half. Check the seasoning, you probably will not need salt, because the salt used in curing the Guanciale but will need plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
2. In a large pot of salted boiling water cook the Spaghetti for 2 mins less than the packet suggests. With a pair of tongs, remove the very al dente pasta to the frying pan, keeping the pasta water in the pot. Add two ladles of pasta water to the Spaghettti and the sauce. Stir with the tongs on a medium heat and cook for 2 minutes. Add the grated pecorino and keep tossing until the sauce is wet but emulsified. Serve in hot bowls with a little extra pecorino on top and black pepper.