Bucatini all’ Amatriciana

– courtesy Borgo Antico Cucina Bar, Oakville

Bucatini all' Amatriciana

³⁄₈ cup extra-virgin olive oil
14 oz guanciale (cured pork jowl) or Pancetta (cured Pork Belly), medium dice
1 small red onion, small dice (brunoise)
2 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
1 whole dried red chili, crumbled
2 ¼ cup Basic Tomato Sauce
1 pound bucatini, favourite brand
freshly grated Pecorino Romano
2 oz butter,softened
1 tbsp Italian parsley, finely chopped

Bring six quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, and add 2 tablespoons salt. In a 10- to 12-inch saute pan, combine ¼ cup olive oil and the guanciale. Begin to render until crispy.

Remove the guanciale with a slotted spoon and drain all but 1/3 cup of the fat. Add onion, garlic and crushed dried chili to the pork fat; set over a very low, consistent heat and cook until the onion has softened. About 12 minutes. Season with a healthy dose of freshly grated black pepper. Add tomato sauce, bring to a simmer and allow to cook for a generous 8 to 10 minutes. Do not allow the sauce to become too thick, adding warm water if necessary to achieve and attain desired consistency.  The sauce should remain quite loose, liquid.

While the sauce simmers, cook the bucatini in the boiling water for about two minutes less than the package directions, until still very firm; drain. Add the pasta directly to the sauce.  Finish cooking the pasta in the sauce, for an additional two minutes. Coat well.

Check for seasoning, and melt the butter and remaining olive oil into the pasta. Toss with the parsley and Pecorino Romano. Divide the pasta among four heated bowls and serve immediately, topped with additional freshly grated Pecorino. Serves four.