In her cookbook, "Italian Regional Cooking," legendary author Ada Boni writes that the most famous pasta dish of her native Rome is spaghetti all'Amatriciana, "the origin of which is said to be Amatrice, a little village in the Sabine country, on the border between Lazio and the Abruzzo." This version of spaghetti all'Amatriciana calls for onion, an ingredient not used in many traditional recipes. —Bill Daley, Chicago TribuneThis recipe is by Ada Boni, from "Il Talismano della Felicita" (The Talisman of Happiness), published in 1928. This recipe was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.
This is the bucatini recipe to end all bucatini recipes. Truly, it doesn't get much more classic than bucatini all'Amatriciana. With guanciale (pork jowl), pecorino and tomato, the dish has just the right balance of salty, savory, acidic and umami. If you can't find guanciale (aka cured pork jowl), feel free to substitute pancetta, bacon, or even prosciutto. A good vegetarian Amatriciana recipe can even be made with plant-based bacon.Pecorino Romano is a hard, salty Italian sheep's milk cheese that is excellent for grating. Although many Americans use Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano Reggiano interchangeably, the are actually quite different. Parm is made with cow's milk and is aged longer, giving it a more crystalized texture and nutty taste; Pecorino Romano has a tangier flavor. That being said, if you can't find or don't have Pecorino Romano, Parmesan would make a decent substitute.This is one of those dishes that is quick enough for a weeknight but good enough for company, and is a must to have in your culinary arsenal.