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pasta all'Amatriciana   

serves 4 - 6 


200 g (7 oz) guanciale sliced into very thick julienne

cured hog jowl, or use cured pancetta 

swirl of extra virgin olive oil

5-6 small tomatoes, peeled (use a mix of different tomato varieties, canned or fresh)

60 g (2 - 2.5 oz) grated sheep milk cheeses (pecorino romano plus a milder pecorino)

salt and freshly crushed black pepper

400 g (14 oz) thick spaghettone or a short format pasta (paccheri, mezze maniche, calamarata, rigatoni, etc.)

Boil the pasta in salted, boiling water. Cook the sliced guanciale in just enough olive oil that it doesn't stick in the beginning until it forms bit of a crust and the fat is transluscent. Add the tomatoes to the hot pan squishing them with your hands, there should still be some bits of tomato visible when serving. Stir to cook and let the tomatoes reduce until you have an almost dry  pan. When the pasta is 2 minutes from being done (check the cooking instructions on the package) lift it from the water directly into the pan with the guanciale and tomatoes. Add a ladel of the pasta cooking water to the pan and finish cooking the pasta in the tomato liquid. When the pasta has absorbed the liquid and is al dente turn off the heat, stir in crushed black pepper and enough grated sheep's milk cheese to make it turn a light orangey-pink, serve or transfer to a serving bowl immediately.


pasta all'Amatriciana is barely coated with the sauce, not swimming in it

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