penne amatriciana

This kind of pasta is on many of my friends favourites list. I have to give credit to my Mimi; my aunt makes the best amatriciana in the world. Its so saucy and delicious. Traditionally, this pasta sauce is made with dried pork cheek or pancetta, tomato and chilli, but varies across menus and dinner tables.
amatriciana penne
– 2-3 rashers of streaky bacon, diced
– 1 medium onion, diced
– 1/2 a large red capsicum, finely diced
– 2 cloves of garlic, smooshed and diced roughly
– 1/2 a bunch of basil
– 2 cans of diced or whole tomatoes
– 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
– 1 large long red chilli, sliced
– 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
– 500g of penne pasta
– olive oil
– salt and pepper
– chilli flakes
– peccorino cheese

1. Chuck a large pot full of water on the stove to boil, add two tablespoons of salt, and pop the lid on.
2. In a medium sized pot or pan, add a splash of olive oil and throw in the bacon, onion and capsicum. Fry until the bacon starts to gain some colour. Add the garlic + 1/2 the chilli and fry until fragrant and the onion is soft.
3. Add the tomato paste, canned tomatoes and balsamic vinegar and stir well to combine. Tear in a handful of basil leaves, season well with salt and pepper and pop the lid on and simmer for 20minutes, or until the sauce has lost its’ acidity and has become rich and fragrant.
4. Cook your pasta according to directions.
5. Once your penne has cooked, drain rapidly, and pour into the pot containing the sauce. Stir to combine making sure each piece of penne is coated in the sauce.
6. Pour into a large serving bowl or platter, top with shavings of peccorino cheese, the remaining chilli slices and some chilli flakes, and another handful of basil leaves. Serve hot !

Serves 6. If you want to make it children-friendly reduce the amount of chilli, or leave it out completely. The sauce can accompany any kind of pasta – rigatoni, farfalle, angel hair, linguine.. the possibilities are endless 🙂 Also if your budget allows it, instead of bacon use pancetta or speck.

amatriciana penne2 image

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