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Beyond Toscano

Bucatini Amatriciana - the tasty pasta dish you’ve never heard of

Bucatini Amatriciana - the tasty pasta dish you’ve never heard of
Ok, we’re being presumptuous, so apologies if you’re a master at making Bucatini Amatriciana, but when it comes to pasta dishes, but outside Italy, it’s still one of the lesser-known ones. To the uninitiated, Bucatini Amatriciana is a traditional dish from Rome, featuring a rich, meaty sauce made from cured pork cheek, pecorino cheese and tomatoes.
Well known in Italy, the dish originally came from the mountainous town of Amatrice in Lazio’s Rieti Province. Being a rugged area of countryside, one of the key industries is farming, with animals grazing on the slopes of the hills. Shepherds in these remote areas would find it difficult to get hold of many ingredients people living in towns would be accustomed to, so they created dishes uses the resources they could more readily cultivate themselves.
So in the creation of what was to become Bucatini Amatriciana, it was out with garlic and onions (and often tomatoes) and in with resources readily at hand – sheep cheese and braised pork cheek (one of the cheapest parts of a pig). The pasta itself is Bucanti – shaped like spaghetti, but fatter and hollow – perfect for capturing the Amatriciana sauce.