The Sauce: Amatriciana Pasta Sauce – Simple tomato based pasta sauce slow simmered with pancetta, onions and chicken stock. Rich in flavor and a hint for heat, it brings out the tender al dente pasta.
Italian study abroad means eating abroad
How did I miss this dish? Have you heard of Amatriciana? According to some, it is one of the most well-known pasta dishes in Italian cuisine. Maybe because I’ve never been to Italy. (Italy is in my top three ‘next destinations’.) Named after the town of Amatrice, it’s prepared using the few ingredients that were always available, tomatoes, guanciale (salt-pork jowl) and a touch of firey pepperoncino (dried hot chile).
A few years ago my niece Kristy spent a semester abroad studying in Italy. One of her Italian friends shared this recipe with her. I just heard about the dish this week so it was my maiden voyage preparation a la Amatriciana. Since it’s basically very straight forward, anyone can make it with success. So you gotta try it. A pasta dish with such simple ingredients turns into my new gourmet favorite.
Enjoy with Herb Garlic Bread.
Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 30 Minutes | Yield: 4 servings | Level: Easy
- 1/2 lb pancetta, 1/4-inch diced
- 1 medium onion, 1/4-inch diced
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 16 oz penne pasta
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 3 Tbsp Romano cheese, finely grated
- salt to taste
1 In a large sauté pan over medium heat, sauté the pancetta until almost cooked stirring occasionally.
2 Add onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Add red pepper and cook for 1 minute.
3 Add tomatoes including juice and chicken stock. Bring to a boil then simmer for 15-20 minutes.
4 In the meantime, cook pasta in well salted water, drain and add to the finished sauce.
5 Toss the cheeses into the pasta, then add the sauce and toss once again. Salt to taste. Garnish with shaved Parmesan.
Brown 4 chicken breasts then pour 2 cups of Amatriciana sauce over and simmer until chicken is cooked through. Serve over pasta.
- Exchange pancetta for bacon.
- Substitute Romano cheese by using 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.
- Try different types of tube pasta such as penne or rigatoni. Use a shape that captures the sauce in the pasta’s nooks and crannies.
Inspiration – Kristy Schermann
Cook with Sauces
Written by Helen Horton
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: February 8, 2013