Sunday, March 20, 2011

I have another excellent recipe to share that John and I have mastered this weekend. Another Italian dinner dish, but I promise we're almost out of our high-carb-phase, so why not indulge just one more time?! 

We made this for dinner on Friday night using Strozzapretti noodles (pictured at left) instead of Bucatini, and then used the leftover sauce to make Round 2 with bucatini noodles (pictured below) on Saturday night. Both styles were delicious and this recipe comes highly recommended. 

Super easy, but give yourself a little extra time, as the sauce is meant to simmer for an hour once all of the ingredients are in. (*A note: John and I don't have a food mill, so we used an immersion blender to puree the tomatoes, while discussing what the point of that was rather than just buying pureed tomatoes to begin with. I defer to your discretion to strictly or loosely adhere to the recipe on that subject...) Also, if you don't eat The Pig, I think you could substitute bresaola (cured beef) for the guanciale/pancetta and get a relatively similar outcome, though I haven't actually tried it. 

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces guanciale or pancetta, cut in 1/4-inch strips
  • 2 large onions, cut in 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans San Marzano tomatoes, passed through the food mill
  • 1 pound bucatini or perciatelli
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for garnish
Coat a large saucepan with olive oil. Add the guanciale and saute over low heat. Cook until it is brown and crispy and has rendered a lot of fat. Remove and reserve 1/3 of the guanciale for garnish. Bring the pan to a medium heat and add the onions and crushed red pepper. Season generously with salt, to taste. Cook the onions until they are translucent, starting to turn golden and are very aromatic. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for about 1 hour, tasting periodically. Adjust the salt, as needed.
Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook for 1 minute less than the instructions on the package. Remove 3 or 4 ladlefuls of the sauce from the pot to a bowl, as an insurance policy. You can always add it back in but it's harder to take out once the pasta is in the pan. You're looking for the perfect ratio between pasta and sauce. Drain the pasta from the water and add to the pot of sauce. Stir to coat with the sauce. This is how you always finish pasta; you cook it in the sauce to perform the marriage of the pasta and the sauce. Add more sauce, if necessary. Add in the cheese and drizzle with olive oil to really bring the marriage together. Toss to coat and serve in shallow bowls garnished with cheese and the reserved guanciale.

Buon Appetito! 

Ps. You can find this recipe online here:

This chef, Anne Burrell, may have some crazy hair, but she can cook


  1. Sounds yummy. I have to give it a try. Hugs, Marty

  2. Thanks Marty! Let me know what you think-- we loved it!
    Christina & John

  3. Of all the Italian sauce recipes I've always adored this one the most. Maybe it's just the kick of spice as I am a chili fiend, but no substitute for guanciale/pancetta will ever do.  ツ