Bucatini with Green Tomato Amatriciana
Scopa - NYC
Everything about Vincent Scotto’s version of this traditional dish from the town of Amatrice in Lazio (the region of Italy that surrounds Rome) is authentic, right down to the guanciale (cured pig jowl) he renders for the fat, and the green tomatoes, which would be used in place of red at the end of the harvest, when the plants are heavy with unripe tomatoes. If you can’t find guanciale at an upscale Italian delicatessen, use pancetta or a combination of pancetta and prosciutto instead.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 6 ounces guanciale, pancetta, or a combination of pancetta and prosciutto, finely chopped
- 2 medium (3/4 pound) onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 3 medium (1 1/2 pounds) unripe, green tomatoes, cored and chopped (about 3 cups)
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup (1/2 small bunch) basil, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound bucatini
- 1/4 pound Pecorino Romano, grated
In a large, heavy-bottomed sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chopped guanciale or substitute and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until the fat has rendered. Add the onion and continue cooking until the onion is translucent, an additional 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking another minute or two. Add the chopped tomatoes, white wine, and red pepper flakes, turn down the heat, and let simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft (more “melted,” really) and the flavor is rich. Add the basil and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta just past al dente in a large pot of salted water. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking water, and drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the simmering sauce, toss, and let cook for 2 minutes or so. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the reserved pasta cooking water to thin it down. Transfer to a serving dish and dust with the Pecorino Romano.