This spicy bacon and tomato sauce is believed to have originated in the town of Amatrice, where bacon is a prized local product. Traditionally, bucatini is used with this sauce, but you can use any pasta you prefer — we’ve used strozzapreti or you could use casarecce or fusilli.
- 6 thin pancetta slices or 3 bacon rashers
- 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) very ripe tomatoes
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) dried strozzapreti or fusilli pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, very finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons very finely chopped small red chilli
- shaved parmesan cheese, to serve (optional)
Finely chop the pancetta or bacon. Score a cross in the base of each tomato. Soak the tomatoes in boiling water for 1–2 minutes, drain and plunge into cold water briefly. Peel back the skin from the cross. Halve, remove the seeds and chop the flesh.
Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, following the packet instructions, until al dente. Drain and return to the pan.
About 5 minutes before the pasta is cooked, heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta or bacon, onion and chilli and stir for 3 minutes. Add the tomato and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the sauce to the pasta and toss until well combined. Garnish with the cheese, if desired, and pepper.
Recipe and images from Mastering the basics: Pasta
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