WHAT IS AMATRICIANA SAUCE?
There are a few theories. But the most popular one is that it was created in the town of Amatrice, Italy. That area is noted for its’ local ingredients like guanciale (pork cheek) and pecorino cheese. Tomato sauces started becoming popular around the 1700’s in Italy. About a century later Amatriciana sauce was all the rage in the nearby capital of Rome. From that day forward this recipe has stood the test of time. Sadly the same cannot be said for this sugo’s (sauce’s) hometown. Amatrice was almost completely destroyed in 2017 by an earthquake.
SUGGESTIONS WHEN MAKING AMATRICIANA SAUCE
Some versions of this recipe add onions. Others will saute raw garlic in olive oil before adding it to the Amatriciana. The basil in the above picture is just a garnish. Guanciale, though, is considered a classic part of the recipe. But in ours we’ve instead used pancetta (from the fat belly of the pig). This luscious substitute adds a bit of decadence to your sauce. If you’re making Amatriciana with fresh tomatoes, make sure to peel and puree the tomatoes before using them. However don’t strain out the seeds, a lot of the flavor is hidden inside these tiny gems.
WHAT GOES WELL WITH AMATRICIANA SAUCE?
This is a spicy red sauce that is made more flavorful with the addition of pancetta, an Italian bacon. You can omit the this ingredient for a vegetarian version. Amatriciana is particularly good with spaghetti or bucatini. For some protein, chicken breasts (cooked separately) can be a nice addition. However remember that the sauce itself is spicy, so flavor the chicken to work as a complement (it doesn’t need to be spicy as well). If you’d like to serve this dish with a glass of wine, try a dry Chenin Blancs as a counterpoint to the flavor. Or if you prefer a red, then a Merlot or Sangiovese (that can stand up to this sugo’s flavor) will pair well.