Perciatelli all’Amatriciana

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adapted from Will Cook for Rent, where it was adapted from Saveur
serves 4

3 tbsp olive oil
4 oz pancetta (or guinciale) cut into ¾” cubes
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
8 or 9 spicy calabrian peppers (found in a jar at specialty food stores), chopped
1 28-oz can of whole, peeled tomatoes (San Marzano if you can find them)
1 lb perciatelli (or bucatini)
1 ¼ cups grated Pecorino Romano

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, deep skillet that has a lid.  When it’s hot, throw in the pancetta.  Cook until it begins to brown, 6-8 minutes.  Next, add the carrots, onion, calabrian peppers, and fresh ground pepper (be generous).  Cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots and onions soften, about 6 minutes. 

While the carrot mixture is cooking, crush the whole tomatoes in a bowl with your hands.  (You can also puree them in their juice if you want, but crushing them is much more fun and will result in a more rustic looking sauce). 

Add the garlic to the skillet and cook for another minute, stirring constantly.  Then add the tomatoes and their juice.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover, simmering until the sauce thickens, 25-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook your pasta in well-salted water according to the directions on the box.  Drain the pasta, reserving about ¼ cup of the water.  Toss the pasta with the sauce, adding pasta water as needed.  Mix in ¾ of the Pecorino Romano and divide the pasta into bowls.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese over pasta and serve hot.

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