Pasta All’amatriciana (Milk Street)

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced cured jowl or pancetta, finely chopped
  • 10 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 14½-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained, juices reserved, tomatoes crushed by hand into small pieces
  • 1 1-ounce chunk pecorino Romano cheese, plus more finely grated, to serve
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  1. In a 12-inch skillet over medium, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring, until well-browned and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel–lined plate and set aside.
  2. Return the skillet to medium and add the garlic; cook, stirring, until light golden brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the wine, increase to medium-high and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the drained tomatoes and cook, stirring, until heated, about 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the reserved tomato juice, then remove from the heat.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring 2 quarts of water and the pecorino chunk to a boil, stirring occasionally to prevent the cheese from sticking to the pot. Stir in the pasta and 2 teaspoons salt.
  6. Cook, stirring often, until the pasta is just shy of al dente. Remove and discard the pecorino, then drain the pasta in a colander set in a large heat-safe bowl; reserve the cooking water.
  7. Set the skillet over medium-high, stir in 1½ cups of the reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer. Add the drained pasta, tossing with tongs. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, 3 to 6 minutes.
  8. Off heat, stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, the pancetta and 2 teaspoons black pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with grated pecorino on the side.

Published on March 16, 2020