There have long debates about bucatini all’amatriciana starting with the dishes’ name—some say amatriciana while others say matriciana! Tomato, “tomotto”. It is thought that the name Amatriciana came from the town Amatrice, where some say that the recipe was invented. Amatrice is located in the province of Rieti, in what is now northeastern Lazio, but there is also a population that retorts that the recipe is from Rome.
There are major differences between the two recipes. No onions and no red sauce in the Amatrice’s recipe and red sauce and onions in the Roman recipe. The myth is that the actual recipe was born in Rome and the Amatrice inhabitants created their own version of the pasta dish. Of course, this cannot be verified.
Yet another tale states that the Amatrice villagers used to go to Rome during the winter because it was much colder in their mountainous region. Hence, where the battle of the recipes may have began. However, most do agree that the dish descends or is a derivation from gricia, a pasta dish used by the Roman shepherds that is made with pepper, cheese, and smoked pork jowl, also known as guanciale, but this is often substituted with pancetta since it is very difficult to find guanciale in the states unless you live in or near a large city.
Our Sunday Pasta recipe will follow the Roman version, meaning that it WILL ,in fact, use onions and red sauce. This is a great warm, peppery pasta to prepare on a cool autumn day or a cold winter night and there is absolutely no debate about that!
Donna Picciocchi, Editor