Back in D.C. and inspired by Lupa, I put together my own version of bucatini all’amatriciana last night for dinner. The classic version comes from the town of Amatrice in Southern Italy, and looks something like this:
long noodles (bucatini, spaghetti, linguine) + sauce [made with rendered cured pork (pancetta, bacon, or guanciale) + onion family (red onions, garlic, or leeks) + tomato (raw, puree or sauce) + herb (parsley, basil, marjoram or sage) + hard cheese (parmesan, pecorino)]
I often add beans or vegetables (for fiber and nutrients) along with chile (for heat) and acid (for brightness) to basic pasta recipes. Chick peas, red pepper flakes and red wine vinegar did the trick here:
BUCATINI WITH RED ONION, GARLIC, CHICK PEAS AND PARMESAN
What you need
2 strips thick cut bacon
1 red onion (cut in half and sliced thin)
2 cloves garlic (sliced thin)
1 can chick peas (rinsed and drained)
1 cup tomato puree (Pomi, or pureed whole canned tomatoes)
1 lb. bucatini pasta
4 T. fresh parsley (coarsely chopped)
Parmesan (for grating)
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. olive oil (for the sauce)
2 tsp. olive oil (for finishing)
12-inch saute pan (non-stick works well)
What you do
1) The prep: Put the BACON in the freezer for 15 minutes before slicing it into 1/8 inch pieces.
2) The PASTA: Bring a large pot of water (with 2 T. of salt) to a boil. Don’t add the pasta until the sauce begins to simmer.
3) The sauce: Add the BACON and OLIVE OIL to the saute pan and cook over medium high heat until the bacon is crisp. Add the ONIONS and GARLIC and stir to coat with the fat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and light brown in spots, and the garlic is very light brown. Add the RED WINE VINEGAR, TOMATO and CHICK PEAS. Simmer 10-12 minutes, stirring often.
4) The pasta: Cook according to the package directions, or until it’s slightly firm (al dente). Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water with a ladle or measuring cup.
5) The finish: Drain the pasta and add it to the simmering sauce. Toss to coat the pasta and simmer about 1 minute, adding some pasta water if the sauce is too thick. Turn off the heat. Grate some PARMESAN over the pasta and add the chopped PARSLEY and remaining olive oil.
Add more grated parmesan, salt and red pepper flakes to taste.