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This recipe comes from the Deer Iland Cookbook, edited by MarketCopywriter’s Lorraine Thompson.

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Bucatini all’Amatriciana

This spicy pasta is traditionally served during Ferragosto, Italy’s August holiday. But it’s so delicious and easy to make, we serve it all year long.

Originating in Amatrice, a town outside Rome near the Lazio-Abruzzo border, this pasta takes only 30 minutes to put together. Round the meal out with a salad, loaf of crusty brick-oven baked bread and a bottle of your favorite Italian wine.

4 oz. guanciale, pancetta or bacon, diced (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 Italian sweet pepper, diced
1/2 teaspoon dry red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 pound Italian tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped; or 1 can Italian tomatoes, chopped
Salt, to taste
1 pound bucatini
1 cup grated pecorino cheese

  1. In a large pasta pot, heat four quarts of salted water for the bucatini. (Bucatini is long, slender hollow pasta. If you can’t find it, substitute spaghetti.)

  2. In a medium-sized skillet, heat the olive oil over medium flame.

  3. Chop the guanciale, pancetta or bacon. Guanciale is smoked pork jowl. You can buy grass-fed smoked pork jowl or bacon from Sap Bush Hollow Farm—always my first choice for delicious, humanely raised meat. (Tell owner Adele Hayes that Lorraine Thompson sent you.) You can also buy imported guanciale at better Italian salumerias. There are a number in the Bronx, New York City’s Arthur Avenue neighborhood, see here. Vegetarians, leave out the pork altogether.

  4. Okay. If you’re using pork, add it to the heated olive oil—oil should be heated to just below smoking point before adding pork. Throw in the pork, stirring to cook on all sides. Lower the flame to keep the meat from browning. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

  5. Stir in the diced Italian peppers and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until Italian peppers soften—about 5 minutes.

  6. Pour in the white wine. Bring to boil. Lower flame and simmer until wine almost completely evaporates.

  7. If using meat, use slotted spoon to remove pork. Reserve.

  8. Add the tomatoes to the peppers and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and add salt, if needed—guanciale is very salty.

  9. Add reserved meat and stir. Keep on lowest flame while you boil the bucatini or other pasta until al dente.

  10. Drain pasta, then toss it back into the pot.

  11. Pour sauce over pasta, add cheese and toss until pasta is well coated. Spoon pasta into large bowl and serve immediately. Pass extra cheese at table.

Buon appetito!

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