Tony Eats In
Yo, how’s it goin’? I know everybody is stressed these days, and your old buddy Tony is no exception. Me and Missus Tony ain’t spent this much time together since we was first married. Our favourite spots are all closed down, and somehow eating fancy chow in your bathrobe or sweats just ain’t the same.
I heard last week that it was now mandatory to wear a mask at home. Not to protect you as much as stop you from eating. I wonder how many folks stocked up on groceries and toilet paper and then went on an eating binge and blew through the majority of both.
So, with all the frantic stuff going on and people trying to make their own sourdough at home – I figure this was a good time to maybe just eat at home for a change. Your old buddy Tony knows his way around the kitchen just a little bit, and having Teresa’s Italian Centre Shop close by it’s a good excuse to eat in. So this time around I’m gonna throw you a little wisdom and share a ricetta with ya. Prego!
Tony’s Forchetta’s Bucatini all’Amatriciana
This dish is amazing in its simplicity and rich in flavour. It is attributed to Amatrice, a small town in northern Lazio, that sadly experienced a tragic earthquake on August 26, 2014. The dish does not have an abundance of seasoning. Both the guanciale and cheeses are quite salty, so there is no need for any additional salt. Guanciale is a cured bacon made from the cheek meat, which is very tender and fatty. Pecorino Romano is a harder cheese made from sheep’s milk and Parmigiano Reggiano is the king of cheese from the North. All products are available at the Italian Centre Shop. You can easily double the recipe to make more for your friends or family.
Time: 20-30 minutes
- 1 Package of good quality dried Bucatini (Rustichella d’abruzzo or Molisana)
- 4 fresh Roma Tomatoes cut into large pieces.
- 4 thick slices of Guanciale cut into small 1-2 cm chunks. (Panchetta or Bacon will work)
- Good quality Olive Oil
- Grated Pecorino Romano
- Grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- Pepperoncino secco (Dried red chile flakes)
Put a large pot of water on to boil and salt it with three big tablespoons of salt.
Put the guanciale into a cold pan and place on the stove over med-low heat. Let it slowly render the fat and crisp, this will take a few minutes. Relax, have a glass of wine.
Once the water is at a rolling boil, grab enough pasta for two people. Maybe half the package? And cook to its directions, usually 11-12 minutes. Read the package.
Once the guanciale has rendered the fat, you’ll have crisp bacon bit-like pieces and a lot of fat in the pan. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the tomatoes and chile flakes (just a pinch – you can’t take them out but you can add more). You can cover the pan to help steam and break down the tomatoes until they are soft, so about 5-6 minutes.
Your pasta should be almost done by now, so drain it and reserve the water.
Check your tomato and gaunciale. They should be still in chunks, but you can easily crush them with a fork. Add about ½ cup of the pasta water to help thin the sauce, just a small ladle at a time. Toss in your cooked Bucatini, mix with the tomato and guanciale, and remove from the heat.
Cover with a healthy handful of both cheeses and toss again and serve. Drizzle a decent shot of good olive oil over each and dig in.
Tony lives in McCauley.