Guanciale, Italian salt-cured pork cheek, deeply flavors this classic sauce. A little spice from dried chili and black pepper is perfectly balanced with the chunky tomato sauce and pecorino cheese. A little bit of Rome in a bowl.
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 oz. thinly sliced Guanciale or Pancetta (sliced like short matchsticks)
- 1/2 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/2 tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 3/4 cup Minced Onion
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 28-oz. Can Peeled Tomatoes with Juices, crushed by hand
- Kosher salt
- 12 oz. Dried Bucatini or Spaghetti
- 1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino
Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add guanciale and sauté until crisp and golden, about 4 minutes.
Add pepper flakes and black pepper; stir for 10 seconds.
Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, until soft, about 8 minutes.
Add tomatoes (with juices).
Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt; add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes (2 minutes before al dente). Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water and drain pasta.
Add drained pasta to sauce in skillet and toss vigorously with tongs to coat.
Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water and cook until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes. (Add a little pasta water if sauce is too dry.)
Stir in cheese and transfer pasta to shallow bowls.