Amatrice is a town in central Italy, not too far from Rome, which has given its name to this simple but tasty pasta dish. There are a few possible variations of this recipe; the version here is largely based on the one in Giada de Laurentiis’ Everyday Italian.
The classic recipe uses guanciale (cured pork cheek) and fresh red chile, but the pancetta and red pepper flakes used here make a good substitute. You can use either crushed tomatoes or tomato purée.
- 2 tablespoons oilive oil
- 6 ounces pancetta, diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- dried crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
- 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat.
- Add pancetta and cook until golden brown, 5-8 minutes.
- Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in tomatoes, salt, and pepper.
- Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat, until the sauce starts to thicken, about 15 minutes.
- Stir in the cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve over 1 pound cooked, drained spaghetti.