In conversation with

Dine like a Roman on amatriciana rigatoni

September 14, 2020

Hotel Eden’s executive chef, Fabio Ciervo, tells us of his great passion for the traditional Italian pasta dish, amatriciana. Here’s his recipe for creating this much-loved classic.

Firm favourite

Like so many of the greatest pasta dishes, the secret to this recipe is a simple selection of quality ingredients cooked in just the right way. This particular version is a real favourite of mine and many of our guests at Il Giardino Ristorante. Try it for yourself and I’m sure you’ll agree.

Taste of history

Legend has it that this dish was originally created by shepherds in the mountains of Amatrice, located to the north-east of Rome, from a small selection of ingredients they carried with them in their saddlebags. Traditionally it’s made with cured pork cheek known as ‘guanciale’ but pancetta works very well too.

Fabio’s top tips

My secret to success is cooking the pasta in the sauce for at least three minutes to ensure all the flavours meld together thoroughly. It’s also important to only add the pecorino once the cooking is done and the heat has been turned off, this will give your sauce a wonderfully creamy consistency.

The recipe

Serves four

• 400g rigatoni
• 200g guanciale or pancetta
• 1½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
• 50ml dry white wine
• 400g ripe organic tomatoes
• Half a fresh chilli
• 100g grated pecorino
• A pinch of salt

Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 40 minutes

Method

• Heat the olive oil in a pan then add the cubed guanciale/pancetta together with the chilli and sauté until crisp and golden.

• Keeping the heat high, add the white wine and let it evaporate then set aside the guanciale/pancetta.

• Peel and cube the tomatoes and add to the pan, crushing them with the back of a spoon and adding salt to taste.

• Reduce the heat and cook slowly for around 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes create a thick sauce.• In a separate pan add the rigatoni to boiling salted water and cook until al dente.

• Remove the chilli from the sauce and add the drained rigatoni and cooked guanciale/pancetta.

• Stir occasionally for a couple of minutes until the sauce coats all the pasta.

• Turn off the heat and add the grated pecorino to form a creamy sauce.

• Serve with a little extra grated pecorino sprinkled on top of the pasta.

We really hope you enjoy making this dish at home. Alternatively, come and try Fabio’s recipe at Hotel Eden’s Il Giardino Ristorante, overlooking the beautiful city of Rome. Buon assaggio!

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