About the Recipe
Red sauce is a staple of Italian pasta dishes and Amatriciana is probably one of the oldest recipes. While it is a common dish in Rome it actually originates from the town of Amatrice. The few ingredients keep it simple to create yet the guanciale (pig cheek) adds quite a bit to the flavor. You can also substitute the guanciale with thick cut bacon.
5oz guanciale (or pancetta), cut into lardons
1-2tsp chile flakes
1-2tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup Dry white wine
14oz can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, crushed roughly by hand
1lb Dried Etto Mezzi Rigatoni
⅔ cup finely grated pecorino romano, plus more for serving
Cook guanciale in a skillet until nicely rendered and crispy. Add your chile flakes and freshly ground black pepper (to taste) into the fat to bloom them for a few seconds. Remove guanciale and reserve for later.
Deglaze pan with the white wine and cook for 1-2 minutes to reduce while scraping up any brown bits from the pan.
Add the tomatoes and cook until tomatoes break up, and reduce into a more concentrated sauce, about 4-6 minutes. Add salt to taste, keeping in mind that the guanciale, pasta water, and pecorino romano will be salty as well.
Meanwhile, cook Mezzi Rigatoni in salted water for about 2-3 minutes. Toss the pasta along with the reserved guanciale into your skillet with the sauce and add some of the starchy pasta water (about ½ to ¾ cups) in as well, tossing to coat it all together. Off of the heat, add grated pecorino romano and stir even more to fully coat the pasta with a glossy sauce. Top with cheese.