Julia Roberts is ready to eat her way into our hearts, and through some incredible recipes, in her latest movie, Eat Pray Love. As we travel with her, at least in our hearts, through Italy, India, and Bali, this Bucatini all’Amatriciana recipe from Eat Pray Love will help us taste the transcendent flavors of Italy and, perhaps, gain some insight into our own souls...or, at least, our taste buds.
Bucatini all'Amatriciana recipe from Eat Pray Love
Serves 4 to 6
Although this pasta recipe from the movie Eat Pray Love hails from a town 100 miles from Rome, it is ubiquitous there, and you will find it in every trattoria. The authentic version uses guanciale, which is the cured, but not smoked, bacon made from pork jowl. Pancetta, which is easier to find, is a fine substitute. Be careful not to add too much salt to the dish until the end, because the bacon has plenty of salt on its own.
1/4 pound guanciale or pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch thick by 1-inch long strips
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 (28 ounce) can whole San Marzano tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
1 pound Bucatini
1/4 cup grated pecorino Romano, plus more for serving
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Place the guanciale or pancetta in a large frying pan (12") and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the bacon is crisp on the outside and much of the fat has been rendered, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat and discard.
Add the onions to the pan and cook over medium heat until translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Break up the tomatoes with your hands and add them to the pan, along with the juices from the tomatoes, the bacon, and the red pepper flakes. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened, using the back of the spoon to break up the tomatoes.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, add 1 tablespoon salt, and the pasta. Cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta, but don't rinse. Add to the pan with the sauce (still on the heat) along with the pecorino, and toss well to coat. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Divide among warmed serving bowls with more pecorino and red pepper flakes on the side.