I fell in love with this dish and recipe during a solo visit to Rome, around New Years 2022. I practiced cooking it over and over in the ancient Air B&B I was staying at a few blocks from the Spanish steps. The fresh guanciale or pancetta and the sharpness of the pecorino i would get fresh from the corner market were the key to this dish. Be careful when you add the wine, if the flame touches it will briefly catch fire, I almost burnt the place down. Aside from the close call, the dish was fantastic paired with a nice chianti.
4 oz. thinly sliced guanciale, pancetta, or chopped unsmoked bacon
½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Jar of Monte’s Sauce
1lb dried Pasta (traditionally bucatini or spaghetti)
½ cup grated pecorino
Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add guanciale (or pancetta) and sauté until crisp and golden, about 4 minutes.
Add pepper flakes and black pepper; stir for 10 seconds. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, until soft, about 8 minutes.
Add 1 jar of Monte’s Sauce, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt; add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until 2 minutes before al dente.
With a slotted spider spoon (or tongs) move pasta directly to sauce in skillet and toss vigorously to coat.
Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water and cook until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes. (Add a little pasta water if sauce is too dry.)
Stir in pecorino cheese and transfer pasta to bowls.