“This sauce has become quite famous for arguments on origin and authenticity. The dish is usually cooked with bucatini or spaghetti – dried, never ever fresh, and I mean never (see how the emotion starts). Sometimes we use rigatoni at North Bondi Italian Food. My dear friend Ronnie di Stasio of the Italian institution Cafe di Stasio would probably kill me for doing that as he only uses bucatini. Hence the Italian food war rages on.” Robert Marchetti, North Bondi Italian Food, North Bondi, NSW
- 150 gm mild pancetta, cut into 1cm dice
- 100 gm guanciale, cut into 1cm dice (see note)
- 75 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ bunch basil, stalks only (leaves reserved for another use)
- 2 golden shallots, finely chopped
- 800 gm canned crushed tomatoes
- 500 gm dried bucatini
- To serve: finely grated parmesan
- 1Stir pancetta, guanciale, olive oil and basil stalks in a large saucepan over low heat until pancetta and guanciale are golden and fat renders (10-12 minutes). Add shallot, stir occasionally until tender (5-7 minutes), season with freshly ground black pepper. Remove basil stalks (discard), then add tomato and simmer over low heat until sauce is thick and rich (1 hour). Season to taste and keep warm.
- 2Meanwhile, cook bucatini in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (8-10 minutes). Drain pasta (reserve a little pasta water) and toss through sauce, adding pasta water if necessary, then serve hot scattered with parmesan.
Guanciale is cured pig’s jowl, available from select delicatessens. If unavailable, substitute mild pancetta.
This recipe is from the May 2011 issue of