Today you are getting a two-for-the-price-of-one deal with a recipe for Arrabbiata sauce and Amatriciana sauce and the reason being is that they are both very similar to each other. The only difference between the two is that one (Amatriciana) has an additional ingredient, pancetta or bacon. One sauce is vegetarian, and the other not.
Both sauces are a little fiery. Arrabbiata, for example, means angry and is traditionally made with garlic, chilli, tomatoes and olive oil and as such is simplicity itself. Amatriciana is very similar in composition except that pancetta or bacon is used. Amatriciana originated in the town of Amatrice in Lazio and traditionally used guanciale which is cured pork cheek. As that is hard to come by outside of Italy (I imagine) pancetta or bacon is used as a substitute.
The pasta that is usually employed with Arrabiata is Penne or Penne Rigati but I have also used the larger tubular Rigatoni which works equally well and I have also paired this sauce with spaghetti which is the dish I have illustrated. The pasta that works well with Amatriciana is bucatini, favoured in Rome so I am told but spaghetti works well too.
What you’ll need for two people for Arrabbiata is:
- Olive oil
- 2-3 cloves of garlic peeled and finely chopped
- 2-3 dried chillies sliced, seeds included
- 1 x 400g/14.10oz tin tomatoes
What you’ll need to do:
- Heat a good slug of olive oil in a saucepan and add the chopped garlic and chillies. Cook a little to release the aroma but do not let the garlic brown.
- Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer then let the sauce cook for around 20-30 minutes until the liquid has evaporated and the sauces becomes pulpy.
To make the Amatriciana sauce:
- The ingredients listed above
- Bacon cut into strips or pancetta cut into cubes. Use as much or as little bacon/pancetta as suits your taste. For two people I would suggest 2 rashers of bacon per person, more if you prefer. Cut the bacon into thin strips but not too thin. Add the bacon to the saucepan before adding the garlic and chillies.
The bacon I use is smoked back bacon which may be difficult to find in the US so Canadian bacon will work just as well.
If you are using streaky bacon (which is the standard bacon found in the US) fry the bacon first (before adding the garlic and chillies) which will allow the bacon fat to render then add the garlic and chillies. If necessary add a little olive oil – then add the tomatoes and follow the steps set out for Arrabbiata above.