Babbo's Bucatini all'Amatriciana
recipe, which includes basic tomato sauce -
(one of Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich's places)
¾ pound guanciale, or pancetta, thinly sliced (this is bacon from pork jowls or cheeks)
3 garlic cloves
1 red onion, halved and sliced ½-inch thick
1 ½ teaspoons hot red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 ½ cups basic tomato sauce
1 pound bucatini
1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
Pecorino Romano, for grating
1. Being 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt.
2. Place the guanciale slices in a 12- to 14-inch sauté pan in a single layer and cook over medium-low heat until most of the fat has been rendered from the meat, turning occasionally. Remove the meat to a plate lined with paper towels and discard half the fat, leaving enough to coat the garlic, onion and red pepper flakes. Return the guanciale to the pan with the vegetables, and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, or until the onions, garlic and guanciale are light golden brown. Season with salt and pepper, add the tomato sauce, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Cook the bucatini in the boiling water according to the package directions, until al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the simmering sauce. Add the parsley leaves, increase the heat to high and toss to coat. Divide the pasta among four warmed pasta bowls. Top with freshly grated Pecorino cheese and serve immediately.
BASIC TOMATO SAUCE
Makes 4 cups
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Spanish onion, chopped in 1/4-inch dice
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried
1/2 medium carrot, finely shredded
2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved
Salt, to taste
In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot, and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt and serve. This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.
A recipe from an old book of mine - when I first started following italian regional food, this was the book, Italian Regional Cooking by Ada Boni. (I had an earlier book by her, but it's long gone.)
I won't copy the whole bit, but the ingredients -
1 1/2 pounds spaghetti
2 1/2 tablespoons lard or oil
1 onion thinly sliced
5 ounces lean bacon diced
1/2 cup dry white wine - optional
1 pound ripe or canned tomatoes
salt and pepper
3/4 cup grated pecorino
Well, I'll add the sentences about the sauce -
Heat the lard and saute the onion over very low heat until soft. Add the bacon and fry it slowly for a few minutes. Moisten with white wine and continue cooking until it evaporates a little. Peel, chop and seed the tomatoes, and add them to the pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and cook over a brisk heat for not more than fifteen minutes.
There, that's easy..