Traditional Italian food made with love

September 21, 2009 3:50:54 PM PDT
Nick Smith and Chef Alessandro Campitelli put a spin on an old world favorite to create a contemporary dish that will dazzle the taste buds and not break the bank.

Amatriciana Recipe
Amatriciana is a traditional Italian pasta sauce based on guanciale (dried pork cheek), pecorino cheese, and since the late 18th century also tomato This sauce is originally from the town of Amatrice, in the mountainous Province of Rieti of the Lazio region.

Serves 4 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 t. Hot pepper flakes
  • 4 T. Good quality olive oil
  • 1 ½ c. Guanciale or pancetta
  • ¼ c. White wine
  • 1 16 oz. can of whole tomatoes in juice or 2 cups fresh tomatoes , cubed
  • ¾ c. Pecorino cheese
  • ¾ c. Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Dried Pasta, preferably thick spaghetti or any tubular pasta
Equipment needed:
  • Large sauté pan
  • Pasta pot for water
  • Blender or food processor (if using canned tomatoes)
  • Strainer for your pasta
  • Ladle or large spoon
  • Fork to eat the final product!
Making amatriciana is fast and easy and has room for many changes based on the taste preference of the cook.

Method:

  1. Get a large pot of salted water on the stove ( a few tablespoons of salt will do)

  2. To begin cut the pancetta or guanciale into small cubes, about 1 cm. Note: cutting the meat is much easier to do if it is frozen, and keeping it in the freezer will increase its shelf life, which means you can enjoy it for even longer!

  3. To prepare the tomatoes you can either blend one 16 oz. can of tomatoes in the blender until smooth, or if you would rather enjoy the last of the summer tomatoes simply chop fresh tomatoes into half inch cubes

  4. In a large skillet add the oil and the guanciale. Make sure to stir the meat around a little so that it renders out all of its fat

  5. When the meat is just starting to brown remove from the heat and add in the wine. This will steam a little but it is deglazing the pan and removing all the wonderful bits of crispy meat that have stuck to the bottom

  6. Return the pan to the heat and reduce the wine down until all the alcohol has cooked off (this should only take a minute or so)

  7. Add in your tomato sauce now (or your fresh tomatoes) along with your chili flakes.

    a. If using fresh tomatoes sauté for a minute to blend all the flavors together and then remove from heat

    b. If using canned tomatoes, add in a little of the pasta water with a ladle and then return to heat to reduce. Adding in that water will let the sauce cook for a little longer so the meat has a chance to fully flavor the tomato sauce

    c. Either method you choose, be very careful with your addition of salt. Every ingredient in this dish is salty and it probably will not need any additional seasoning

  8. Once the sauce is finished it can be used right away, or course, but you can also make a larger batch and save some in the fridge.

  9. Cook your pasta according to the instructions on the package. When pasta is done add it directly to the pasta sauce. Add in your cheese and toss everything together.

  10. Sit down and enjoy with some extra cheese to grate over the top and a nice slice of bread to wipe up the sauce! Buon appetito
About Alessandro Campitelli:
For over a decade, Alessandro Campitelli has been honing his innate ability to bring excellence to the dining experience. A native of Rome, Italy, Chef Alessandro began working at the young age of 14 as a waiter at a small intimate restaurant in the heart of the city. From that point, he knew he had found his passion and he began to pursue more challenging roles in the industry.

Over the course of his career he has worked under some of the most talented chefs in Italy. Most noteabley Antonello Colonna (Es Hotel), Massimo Riccioli (La Rosetta), and Heinz Beck (La Pergola in the Rome Cavalieri Hilton).
Restaurant website: chiaroscuro: http://www.chiaroscurosf.com


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