[We have a wander around Italy on the hunt for the most typical dishes of our heritage. Which you can also replicate at home, if you fancy. That’s right, because we’re also going to give you the recipe!]
That’s right, you should slap anyone who pronounces it Matriciana, without the initial “A”. This typical Italian dish comes from Amatrice, a town in the region of Lazio, which has sadly become famous because of the earthquake...
[yes, I know we also spoke about cataclysms for Catania too, and I'm sure you’re in the mood to get away, but Italy is a land prone to earthquakes and we have always had to deal with them throughout our history]
On the night of 24th August 2016, Amatrice awoke to an incredibly powerful tremor. Piles of rubble, devastated buildings, crumbling bricks and tiles: it is never pleasant to see the destructive power of the Earth as it shakes.
But if we can salvage one good thing from this incident, it’s Amatrice’s new-found popularity around the world, as well as the initiatives of solidarity for the town where, it was discovered somewhat unexpectedly, one of our most famous recipes was born. So, not Matriciana, exactly, but Amatriciana, like Amatrice.
A chain of solidarity ran through Italy and the entire world. From cooks to farmers, manufacturers to restaurant owners, countless initiatives associated with the Amatriciana recipe were carried out as a fundraising tool.
In general, among the eight most generous donations by far were those from foreign brands – Japanese, American, British...
Now that’s globalisation!
[preparation time: just under half an hour]
Ingredients [serves 4]
- 320g of linguine
- A 150g slice of guanciale (or smoked pancetta)
- 400g of peeled tomatoes
- 300g of Pecorino cheese, grated (Parmesan is fine as an alternative. But Pecorino would definitely be better!)
- 2 tbsp of our extra virgin olive oil [only if you use pancetta instead of guanciale]
- Half a glass of white wine
First of all, boil the water for the pasta (1 litre per 100 grams) and salt when it reaches boiling point.
You can then focus on the sauce: you should cut the guanciale into thin strips and fry gently (without oil!) over a low heat: the fat should become transparent; the meat, crispy.
To finish cooking, pour in the wine and increase the heat to let those alcoholic hints evaporate: only the aroma of the wine will remain.
Transfer the guanciale into a bowl and season with a little Pecorino cheese. Tip the peeled tomatoes into the pan with its cooking liquid and mash them up with a wooden spoon: you should reduce them to a pulp as much as possible. You should leave this sauce to cook for about ten minutes over a medium heat until it starts to thicken.
Now is the time to add the guanciale back into the tomato sauce.
Add the linguine into the boiling water and drain one minute before the time indicated on the packet: tip into the pan containing the sauce and “sauté” quickly. Remember: the purpose of this final step is to mix everything together, you should not overcook the pasta!
Add the finishing touches with the remaining Pecorino cheese and serve your Amatriciana while it’s piping hot.
Buon appetito! 💗