Recipe: Five “P” Amatriciana: Pasta, Pancetta, Pomodoro, Peperoncino e Pecorino

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Every Thursday on the Good Food blog we share a recipe from our archives.  Today’s recipe, Five “P” Amatriciana: Pasta, Pancetta, Pomodoro, Peperoncino e Pecorino, was first shared with Good Food on January 18, 2003.  It comes from David Downie’s book Cooking the Roman Way: Authentic Recipes from the Home Cooks and Trattorias of Rome.

Take a look at the recipe, after the jump…

Amatriciana delle Cinque “P” (Five “P”Amatriciana: Pasta, Pancetta, Pomodoro, Peperoncino e Pecorino), from Cooking the Roman Way: Authentic Recipes from the Home Cooks and Trattorias of Rome, by David Downie

Serves 4

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 small white onion

4 ounces roughly chopped pancetta, or 2 ounces pancetta and 2 ounces bacon

1 peperoncino (hot chili pepper), shredded, or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 cup Italian dry white wine, preferably Frascati or Marino

3 cups peeled, seeded and chopped medium-sized fresh Italian plum tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)

Kosher salt or coarse sea salt

1 pound bucatini, perciatelli, spaghetti or rigatoni

About 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Pecorino Romano


Bring at least 5 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. (It can be the same water used for peeling the tomatoes.)

Heat the oil in a very large, high-sided frying pan over medium-low and add the half onion. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes. With a slotted spatula, remove and discard the onion.

Toss the pancetta into the frying pan with the peperoncino and saute until the pork starts to become crisp, 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour in the wine and boil to evaporate it, I to 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and raise the heat to medium. Continue to saute while you cook the pasta.

Add a generous pinch of salt to the boiling water, throw in the pasta, stir and cover the pot. When the water returns to a boil, cook the pasta, uncovered, until the pasta is barely al dente, about 1 minute less than the suggested cooking time as given on the package.

Drain the pasta and toss it into the frying pan, still dripping. Stir in 4 heaping Tablespoons of the Pecorino Romano. Turn off the heat and let the pasta sit for 30 to 60 seconds.

Serve the pasta with a bowl of the remaining Pecorino Romano on the side.