Bucatini all’amatriciana (or, more commonly in Rome, alla matriciana) are considered a staple of Roman cuisine. In fact the sauce’s name probably derives from Amatrice, a town near Rieti in the mountains of Lazio. Its original form was “in bianco” – pasta alla gricia, dressed just with guanciale (pork jowl) and pecorino cheese. Eventually as tomato became more common in pasta dishes it was added to the sauce. In Amatrice the typical ingredients used are guanciale, pecorino, white wine, tomato, hot pepper and pepper. The Roman version adds onion. Note that anyone from central Italy will tell you that pancetta is NOT the same thing as guanciale! The pastas traditionally used are bucatini, spaghetti and sometimes rigatoni. This dish has been in the news recently because Carlo Cracco, a well-known chef, said that he used a clove of garlic in the sauce. Scandal! All sorts of protests ensued, especially from Amatrice, insisting that it is heresy to put garlic in this sauce. And if you’re used to the Roman version, it does sound odd. Here‘s the classic recipe. An aside: spaghetti are far easier to eat than bucatini.