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 Tribune
This 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.
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons lard or oil
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 5 Ounces guanciale, in small dice (or lean bacon, thinly sliced)
- 1/2 Cup dry white wine, optional
- 2 Pounds ripe or canned tomatoes
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 Pound spaghetti
- 3/4 Cups grated pecorino, or mixed Parmesan and pecorino cheese
Step 1: In a pan over very low heat, heat 2 1/2 tablespoons lard (or oil) and saute 1 thinly sliced onion until soft. Add 5 ounces small-diced guanciale (or bacon) and fry it slowly for a few minutes. Moisten with 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional) and continue cooking until it evaporates a little.
Step 2: Peel, chop and seed 2 pounds ripe or canned tomatoes, then add them to the pan. Season to taste with 1 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper, and cook over a brisk heat for not more than 15 minutes.
Step 3: Bring a large pan of salted water to a fast boil. Lower 1 pound spaghetti into the water, stir well and cook until just tender.
Step 4: Drain and dress the spaghetti immediately with the hot sauce, and sprinkle with 3/4 cup grated pecorino cheese.