Italian Christmas Recipes: Classic Amatriciana.

Ingredients:
    2 kg tomatoes  - cherry, plum or ordinary - roughly chopped
    250 g smoked bacon , cut into strips, or cubetti di pancetta
    2 small red chillies
    500 g bag bucatini
    200 g pecorino, grated
Sugo all'amatriciana  is a traditional Italian pasta sauce based on guanciale (cured pork cheek), 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 best known pasta sauces in Roman and Italian cuisine. The sauce has been declared as Lazio's Prodotto agroalimentare tradizionale.
recipe-amatriciana

Method.
  1. Put the tomatoes into a food processor in batches and whizz to a fine pulp. Sieve into a large pan, in batches again, pressing through as much tomato as you can with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 20-30 mins until the sauce has reduced by a third to about 700ml. This homemade passata can now be frozen.
  2. Put the bacon or pancetta into a cold, large, heavy-based frying pan. Place over a medium heat – the fat will slowly melt and the bacon will cook. Add the whole chillies (don’t worry, they come out at the end) and cook for 8-10 mins with the bacon until the bacon is sizzling and golden all over. Stir in the tomato sauce, bring to the boil and simmer for 4-5 mins.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta, then drain well. While still hot, tip it into the sauce, sprinkle with most of the cheese and stir well. Remove the whole chillies, dish the pasta onto plates and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
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