Monday 4 August 2014

Bucatini all' Amatriciana from Light of Lucia by Luciana Sampogna.

It was a cold Sunday yesterday. The past week it has felt like winter had come and gone very quickly, only really having a couple of weeks that were very cold. We were having warm sunny days of 24 degrees celsius last week then Sunday it all changed. It was FREEZING again. Ok for all of you living somewhere where it snows i'll admit it probably wasn't that cold but our tiny apartment does not keep the cold out. The thin windows may as well be fly screens for all the use they do to keep the cold out. So a warm rich pasta dish was exactly what I felt like and I had a few options from last weeks meal planning that never really happened.

Light of Lucia is a cookbook that you can take to bed and read. I love the photography and chapter stories of Luciana's life and how each recipe has a little back ground behind it. I love it when recipes do that not just a plain recipe on a page, I like to know who cooked it and what memories it brings back for the author. I feel like I'm sharing someone with them and with who ever I cook it for too. She runs a cooking school in both Sydney and Venice, how amazing to go to and do a cooking class in Venice!

'My father imprinted the aroma of this dish into our souls and with that he reassured us of his love for us. '
- Luciana Sampogna from Light of Lucia.

Gives you the warm and fuzzies doesn't it?

Bucatini all' Amatriciana is a rich spice tomato sauce which uses 'guanciale' which is pork cheek cured for 3 weeks in salt, pepper and sometimes chilli. It is similar to pancetta but stronger in flavour. I am going to admit I did not use guanciale or pancetta because it was crazy expensive so I chose what I thought would be the closest within our budget. If your Italian reading this or Ms Sampogna herself you will probably all tell me that streaky bacon is nothing like it but streaky bacon it was and it was still delicious in my opinion.

Bucatini is the type of pasta used. I had to google image this and find out what is was called in english and see if my local supermarket had a variation and they did thankfully. It is tubular spaghetti.
Bucatini pasta

It was so much fun cooking and trying the new pasta shape. Small pleasures made me so excited and happy. I felt like a kid again and looked forward to eating this pasta all week so when Sunday finally came around thats all I kept talking about was the new shape of pasta we were having for dinner. Tristan was not as excited as I was but looked interested even if it was only for my amusement.

The sauce stuck around the thick pasta and went inside the spaghetti. The only thing is that I kept trying to slurp the spaghetti and because it has a hole in the centre I just kept sucking air. Guess I shouldn't be slurping my pasta then, where are my manners?!

Bucatini all' Amatriciana from Light of Lucia by Luciana Sampogna.

serves 4

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 brown onion, finely diced
200g streaky bacon, chopped (if you can afford pancetta or guanciale, use it)
400g tinned tomatoes, pureed
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
1/3 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to how hot you like your sauce)
500g Bucatini (tubular spaghetti)
freshly grated parmesan, to serve

- In a heavy bottomed frying pan heat the oil on medium and add the onion and cook until onion has softened but not browned.

- Next add your bacon (or what ever type of cured meat you have decided to use) and fry until the fat on the bacon is translucent.

- Add our chilli and tinned tomatoes and cook for 20 minutes on a low heat to allow to thicken. Taste the sauce and see how hot it is with the fresh chilli and add as much cayenne pepper as you want. We had this quite spicy.

- Cook your bucatini (tubular spaghetti) until al dente then add it to the sauce and stir until all the pasta is coated in the rich tomato sauce.

- Serve with some freshly grated parmesan cheese over the top and dig in

Bucatini all' Amatriciana from Light of Lucia by Luciana Sampogna.

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