Fratelli Perata Winery
Bucatini All’Amatriciana

Amatraiciana is a sauce that has roots in Amatrice, which is found in the mountains North East of Rome, as far back as the 1700’s. Few ingredients go into this delicious sauce. The recipe involves guanciale, tomato and Pecorino cheese. This is a very versatile dish that varies from region to region and with the limited number of ingredients it is easy to make it to taste. We give you a very traditional recipe using guanciale (Italian cured pork jowl), but pancetta or even lean bacon can be an easy substitute if you are unable to locate guanciale. In the Paso Robles area, Anthony of Buona Tavola makes guanciale. It is sold locally under the Allepia brand. The peppers can be omitted if spicy is not your thing. However you make it, be sure to pair it with the Bel ‘Bruzzo.

1 pound bucatini
8 ounces guanciale (or pancetta), diced
1/2 cup fresh grated Pecorino Romano, plus more for serving
1 can (28 ounce) whole tomatoes and juice, crushed (we used San Marzano)
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, or a Calabrian pepper, minced salt, to taste
Bring a pot of water to boil following the directions on the pasta package.

While waiting for the boil, combine the olive oil and guanciale in another large pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the guanciale is lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about one minute. Stir in tomato sauce and remove from the heat.

Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook a minute or two less than the package directions. You are looking for just before al dente chew. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water. 

Add the pasta and half of the reserved pasta water to the guanciale and toss over medium heat until the pasta is well coated. If the sauce is still very thick, add a bit more pasta water to loosen the sauce.

Stir in the 1/2 cup cheese and serve immediately with additional cheese on the side. Making a tower by twirling the bucatini with a fork makes an impressive presentation for individual servings. Top with pieces of guanciale and pass the cheese for grating. A little drama for your dinner is fun especially with the Bel ‘Bruzzo.