Amatricana, Amatrice, Fettuccine, Garlic, guanicale, Italian, Italian cuisine, Italian food, Olive oil, Pancetta, Pasta, prosciutto, proscuitto, red sauce, Rome, San Marzano tomato, Saturday, tomato, weekend dinner, Wife
“Alla Amatricana? From Amatricana. Like El Niño is Spanish for The Niño.” I got the look, so I gave her the more detailed answer.
Amatricana is a tomato-based sauce that takes its name from a city near Rome, Amatrice. An authentic Amatricana is going to have guanicale, a cured bacon make from pork cheek as its base fat and protein. The Americanized version utilizes pancetta and prosciutto in its stead, which is fine as I’m pretty sure I know of only one place around here that has guanicale regularly.
I used San Marzano tomatoes again because the sweetness from the fruit really provides a nice balance to the salt from the meat. This could definitely be done as a weeknight dinner, but is hearty enough for a cold January Saturday.
It’s worth noting that this is what I call a meta recipe, where I looked at five or six different versions to determine what ingredients, and how much of them, to use.
WHAT DIDN’T: Giada DiLaurentiis’ version. She called for pancetta and cooked ham. Really? A chance to overly annunciate an Italian word (prosciutto) and she passed it up.
WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: In between disciplining my daughter, who I may have mentioned likes to stand on her chair and try climbing on the kitchen table, The Wife mentioned that it was delicious.
WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Absolutely.
Fettuccine alla Amatricana
Adapted from multiple sources
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 cup cubed pancetta, browned
- 1/4 lb. prosciutto, julienned
- 28 oz. can of San Marzano tomatoes, in juice, chopped coarsely in the can with a sharp knife
- 1 lb. fettuccine (any long, thick pasta will do; linguine and angel hair will not), prepared per the directions on the box
- 10-12 basil leaves, julienned
Heat olive oil in large skillet on a medium-high burner. When it comes to a shimmer, add the onions and brown. Stir in the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add the pancetta and any accumulated juices, prosciutto, and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 30-40 minutes. Uncover the pan, stir in the basil and toss with prepared pasta.