Bucatini alla Matriciana

spaghetti with tomato sauce

(Makes 4 to 6 servings)

Recipe from “Rustic Italian Food” by Marc Vetri

14 ounces boxed dried thick spaghetti

1/2 cup olive oil

8 ounces guanciale, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

4 peeled whole plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano if canned

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 cup dry white wine

2 cups grated pecorino cheese

4 teaspoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in the pasta, quickly return to a boil, and cook until tender yet firm, 8 to 9 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving the pasta water.

Meanwhile, heat 4 teaspoons of the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the guanciale and cook until crispy and golden brown, about 5 minutes, stirring now and then. Add the tomatoes and pepper flakes and break up with tongs. Add the wine and 2 cups pasta water and boil until the sauce reduces in volume and thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.

Add the drained bucatini to the pan along with 1 cup of the pecorino, the parsley, and the remaining olive oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper, tossing until the sauce is creamy. If the sauce gets too thick, add more pasta water.

Divide among warm pasta bowls and garnish with the remaining 1 cup pecorino.

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