I'm so sorry I've been gone so long. This month was crazy! I had three major trips in June, plus a weekend in Napa and the remaining week was spent with a visit from my Mom. You have to forgive me.
Just like I promised and just like Rome... Before I left I was in the process of mastering the art of extruded pasta. I didn't get very far though. I tasted this bucatini amatriciana in Rome last year at Grano was hell-bent on duplicating it. I think I almost got there.
My first attempt with the pasta extruder attachment for the Kitchen Aid was with rigatoni. I was less than enamored. It was thick and heavy. I chucked it up to beginner's misfortune.
Before throwing the extruder out the window, I decided to try my hand again. This time, I made bucatini, the pasta that's kind of like big spaghetti with a hole in the center. This time, the pasta was incredibly tender, and delicate. When I closed my eyes and tasted it, I thought I heard Italian being spoken at the next table. But then I opened them and realized I was at home and it Carrie on Sex and the City in the episode when she's attempting to speak Italian.
But I'll tell you the trick to making great amatriciana sauce, I bought really good guanciale from Chris Cosentino at Boccolone. I think he makes some of the best. You know what guanciale is, right? It means cheek in Italian and specifically pork jowl. Oh, don't think about what jowl is, just eat it and enjoy the crispy golden outside and the juicy interior.
This is what you have to do to make this dish taste like Rome... Cut the guanciale into 1/4-inch cubes and heat a frying pan on medium high until the pan is hot. Fry the guanciale, tossing, until it's golden on the outside and then remove it from the pan, set it aside and proceed. Besides that, the recipe is pretty straight forward. Cook onions and crushed red pepper, add the garlic, reduce the white wine, add good Italian San Marzano tomatoes and season with salt. Don't forget plenty of grated pecorino.
And if you don't have the pasta extruder for your Kitchen Aid, either go buy one or buy some dry bucatini or spaghetti. You might just think you're in Rome.
4 ounces guanciale, 1/4-inch dice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion. diced
Large pinch crushed red pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup dry white wine
3 cups Italian tomatoes, peeled, seeded and pureed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound fresh bucatini pasta
Freshly grated Pecorino
Preheat a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the guanciale and cook, stirring occasionally until golden on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the olive oil and crushed red pepper to the pan and cook until the onions are soft, 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook one minute. Add the white wine and reduce by half. Add the tomatoes and simmer until the sauce thickens, 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the guanciale and stir together.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and toss with the sauce. Serve with grated pecorino immediately.
To read more... http://www.food52.com/recipes/11965_bucatini_amatriciana