By Executive Chef at Corsa 32, Daniel Costa
When I enrolled in culinary school at age 19, I was most interested in extremely complicated food with lots of ingredients—like fusion.
Then, on my first summer break, I took a trip with my father to Italy—our ancestral home. I had travelled throughout the country in my childhood, but this was my first visit focused on food, and it changed everything. My eyes were opened to simplicity and ingredient-focused recipes where understanding what to take away was more important than what to add. Nothing said it better than a meal my father and I enjoyed at Hosteria, in Rome—and its standout course of Bucatini all’Amatriciana. When I asked the owner for the recipe and he told me it was only guanciale, tomato, pecorino and pepperoncini, I was amazed that something that simple could be so incredible. He explained that the technique and proportions are difficult to master—that with so few ingredients, there is no hiding. Get it right and the creaminess of the pork fat with tomato and pecorino, and the crisp pieces of guanciale, make a perfect combination. It’s absolutely amazing.
– Daniel Costa
- 500 g (about 1 lb) bucatini
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 250 mL (about 1 cup) julienned guanciale (or pancetta)
- 1 can (796 mL/28 oz) whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
- 1 tbsp chilli flakes
- 180 mL (about ¾ cup) grated pecorino Romano—plus extra for serving
Bring a large pot of generously salted water to boil. Heat a large skillet on medium, add the olive oil and guanciale, and cook until golden and crisp. Remove guanciale with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add tomatoes and chilli flakes, and salt generously. Stir frequently. While the tomatoes are simmering, cook the bucatini until al dente (about one minute less than the cooking time suggested on the package). Reserve one cup of pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta, and add it to the tomato sauce. Raise heat to high, add half of the reserved cooking water, and cook—stirring and tossing frequently—until the sauce is thick and coats the pasta (about oneminute). Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the guanciale and pecorino. Add a little more pasta water if the sauce is to stiff. Divide between four pasta bowls, sprinkle with more pecorino, and serve.