Keith’s Signature Dish: Spaghetti Amatriciana Recipe


I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for years and I’ve yet to share one of my signature dishes with you all. Well, finally, the time has come! Originally from the town of Amatrice, just north-east of Rome, this recipe originally featured guanciale (a cured pigs cheek) which is as difficult to find as it is to pronounce! Instead I’ve swapped it out for the more commonly-available pancetta. This pasta dish is guaranteed to go down a storm!

Prep: < 5 mins     Cook: < 15-20 mins     Serves: 2

– 200g spaghetti (or penne/rigatoni)
– 12-15 rashers of pancetta
– 1 400g tin good quality chopped tomatoes
– 1 medium red chilli, chopped (or 2 if you’re brave)
– 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
– 1 Tbsp dried oregano
– Olive oil
– Salt & pepper

1. Cook the pasta in a pan of salted boiling water according to the packet instructions and reserve a mugful of the pasta cooking water. I usually cook until ‘al-dente’.

2. Preheat a heavy-based, non-stick frying pan. Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the pancetta until crispy. Reserve 4 rashers on a dish. Add the chopped chilli with the sliced garlic, fry off for no more than a minute.

3. Lower the heat to low-medium, add the tin of tomatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes, or about the same time as the pasta takes to cook. Break up the pancetta rashers with a wooden spoon. Add the oregano during the final few minutes along with a little salt & pepper.

4. Toss in the drained pasta and mix for a minute or so, adding a little of the pasta water to loosen the sauce. Serve and remember to place the reserved rashers of pancetta on top.

5. Serve with decent bread and salad! Bellissimo!

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