When in Rome…or Fairway

December 11, 2008


Of all the tempting food surrounding me at Fairway market, I choose some boxed pasta. It’s cold and dark by 4pm, and there’s something comforting about the thick & chewy hollow noodle, Perciatelli (or Bucatini).  This pasta is basically overgrown elbow macaroni, but straight & long like spaghetti. And when sauce gets caught inside, it makes for fun slurping.

I grabbed some De Cecco Perciatelli and on the box was a recipe for the Roman, pasta all’amatriciana. This dish lends complex flavors from very few ingredients–tang from tomatoes, sweet from onions, richness from pork, and salt from cheese. Cooks up in under 30 minutes as well. Just add a salad of dressed baby greens to round out the meal.

I had all the ingredients at home aside from the pasta and bacon, or the more traditional guanciale (a cured, unsmoked pig jowl). Good thing my friend at the meat counter, Mr. “I’ll do anything for you,” was eager to split open a pack of slab bacon to give me a 1/4 pound-worth. Thanks meat guy! The guanciale, unfortunately, resides in the deli, which I consider the lion’s den (those upper west side ladies will bite your hand off for their white fish salad). I’ll brave it the next time around.

Perciatelli all’amatriciana (De Cecco), 6-8 servings

  • 1# De Cecco Perciatelli (you can use Bucatini or spaghetti)
  • 1/4# bacon, pancetta or guanciale
  • 3 Tbsp De Cecco extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 3/4# tomatoes (I used (2) 14oz cans Muir Glen peeled tomatoes)
  • 1 cup Pecorino cheese (may need less, add to taste)
  • 1/4 chopped onion
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Cook the diced bacon & chopped onion in a skillet until brown. Dice the tomatoes and add to the skillet with the salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. In the meantime, cook the Perciatelli for 11 minutes in boiling, salted water; drain and place in a serving dish (or you can add to the skillet if there’s room to toss). Toss with the sauce and cheese and serve.

Who knew this pasta recipe was embroiled in controversy! Check out the New York Times article: The Meat of the Matter in a Pasta Debate


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: