Sugo all’amatriciana (Amatriciana sauce) is a traditional, zesty Italian pasta sauce, based on guanciale, (salt-cured pork jowl), pecorino cheese and tomato. Originating from the town of Amatrice (in the mountainous Province of Rieti of Lazio region), the Amatriciana is one of the most well-known pasta sauces in Roman and Italian cuisine. As you can imagine, the recipe is known in several variants, depending also on local availability of certain ingredients. While each one seems to agree about the usage of guanciale and tomato, onion is disliked in Amatrice and in the original recipe, but it is used in the classical handbooks of Roman cuisine. As frying grease, olive oil is mostly used, but strutto (canned pork lard) is attested too. The addition of garlic sauted in olive oil (“soffritto”) before adding guanciale is also possible, while as cheese either pecorino romano or Parmesan cheese can be used. The addition of black pepper or chili pepper is also possible, according to your tastes. This sauce is a perfect topping for strand pasta such as spaghetti. However, in traditional Amatrice cooking the pastas most often used include bucatini, perciatelli or even fresh ravioli.
Blanch tomatoes, remove skins and seeds and cut into pieces. Put olive oil, pig’s cheek cut into small cubes and chilli peppers in a saucepan. Brown over a high flame, then add white wine, allow it to evaporate and remove the pig’s cheek. Add tomato pieces and salt, stir the sauce and simmer for a few minutes. Remove chilli peppers and add the pig’s cheek. Meanwhile, boil pasta in salted water. When the pasta is al dente, drain thoroughly and place in a serving bowl; add pecorino; after a few seconds pour the sauce over the pasta, add black pepper, mix and serve.
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