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While we can’t spontaneously hop a flight to Italy, we can pretend by way of a plate full of pasta. We’re making recipe developer Erin McDowell’s bucatini amatriciana, a just-spicy-enough classic that hails from the town of Amatrice.
“When I make tomato-based pastas, I always like to add a little bit of spice,” McDowell tells us, “and the Italian amatriciana sauce is particularly delicious because it’s made with a small amount of cured pork. It gives the sauce this richness that can stand up to that burst of heat.”
The traditional Italian version uses guanciale, salt-cured pork jowl. It’s worth seeking out at an Italian grocery, but it can be hard to find, so substitute with pancetta or even bacon in a pinch. Bucatini is our favorite pasta shape for its chewy bite, but spaghetti works too.
“This is a very regular weeknight dinner at our house,” McDowell continues, “but it’s absolutely something you could make for company. Even though it’s simple to make, it’s the kind of thing everyone craves and will gobble up.” Including us.
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