Better bukes?

The sister insists that this is the better Bucatini All’Amatriciana recipe because of the balsamic vinegar. I remember loving the other one but now I’m confused. They’re both so damn good!

Oh, I used canned San Marzano tomatoes instead of fresh. And given the peppered pancetta and parm, I skipped adding additional salt and pepper. Ha, betcha didn’t notice, attractive nuisance!

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Bucatini All’Amatriciana (Epicurious)

Bon Appétit | May 2005

This is named after the town of Amatrice, not too far from Rome, where the sauce has long been prepared using the few ingredients that were always available: sun-ripened tomatoes, guanciale (salt-cured pork jowl), and a touch of firey peperoncino (dried hot chile).

Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 ounces guanciale or unsmoked bacon, sliced, cut into 1×1/4-inch strips, divided1 garlic clove, peeled
1 1-inch dried peperoncino or 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 pound cherry tomatoes, chopped (about 3 cups)12 ounces bucatini or spaghetti3/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese or Parmesan cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)

Preparation

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add half of guanciale and sauté until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer guanciale to paper towels to drain (do not clean skillet). Reserve for garnish.

Add 2 tablespoons oil to same skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic and peperoncino; sauté until peperoncino darkens, about 2 minutes. Add onion and remaining guanciale; sauté until onion is translucent and fat has rendered from guanciale, about 10 minutes. Stir in vinegar; cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes; simmer 6 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to same pot.

Add tomato sauce and cheese to pasta and toss, adding some of reserved pasta cooking liquid if dry. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer pasta to bowl. Sprinkle with reserved guanciale and serve.

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