Amatriciana Sauce is a traditional Italian pasta recipe made with Pancetta(No, I didn't use it or bacon!), or if you're lucky enough to find it, dried pork cheek. Then blended with rich and thick tomato sauce and pecorino cheese to create a hearty and flavorful Italian pasta recipe.
Rome, being in the Lazio region of Italy is right next door to Rieti, a small mountain side town where this recipe derives. Also known as the local ski hot spot for Romans and their Pecorino cheese. A typical mountain cheese made from sheep's milk. Similar to parmigiano in density and texture but much sharper and slightly saltier. It has the boldness to stand up to the smokey flavor of the pancetta and makes the perfect match for this delicious sauce! Romans have adopted Alla'matriciana and integrated it into their cuisine.
When we were in Rome last August, We had this amazing lasagna in Amatriciana sauce. Since then, I was longing to have that pasta but didn’t have a chance to make it. I really haven’t made lasagna in a long time! Finally, over the weekend, I thought of making this simple yet elegant dish that transported us right back to that tiny restaurant in Rome, fragrant with the aromas of cooking of garlic, onion and tomatoes. Do try this, I am sure you and your family will equally enjoy it.
Spaghetti Alla Matriciana
3/4 lb spaghetti
½ large onion chopped
4 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1-2 tbsp red wine vinegar
¾ cup tomato puree
Fresh Pecorino Romano,grated
salt as needed
Prepare pasta according to package direction.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over moderately low heat.
Add the onion and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
While the onion is cooking, add the pasta to the boiling water.
Add the red pepper flakes and parsley to the onion mixture and cook briefly to release their fragrance.
Add the vinegar and simmer briefly until it evaporates, then add the tomato puree and 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Simmer briefly to blend.
When the pasta is just shy of al dente, drain it and return it to the warm pot over moderate heat.
Add the sauce and cook briefly so the pasta absorbs some of the sauce, then transfer the pasta to a warmed serving bowl and shower with the pecorino.