Recipe: Campagnolo chef Craig Harding’s incomparable spaghetti all’amatriciana
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 36 minutes
Serves 6 to 8
2 19-oz cans San Marzano tomatoes
1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped
1 green pepper, coarsely chopped
1 red pepper, coarsely chopped
1 small Spanish onion
4 cups water
½ cup olive oil
2 tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp olive oil
5 oz guanciale, cut into lardons
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tsp chili flakes
1 ¾ lb fresh spaghetti or linguine
1 – 2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 ¾ cups pecorino, grated
1. Purée sauce ingredients in batches in a food processor until very smooth. Cook in a large saucepan over medium heat for 30 minutes until sauce thickens slightly and flavours infuse. The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, but not glommy. Dilute with more water if it gets too thick.
2. Lightly coat a large frying pan with 1 tsp oil. Set over medium heat. Add guanciale lardons. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes until guanciale begins to crisp. Add garlic and chili flakes. Reduce heat to medium-low or low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 2 minutes until garlic begins to soften. Add sauce. Simmer gently until ready to use.
3. Meanwhile, boil pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water for 3 to 4 minutes until noodles are al dente. Drain.
4. Coat pasta pot with oil. Set over medium heat. Return pasta to pot. Sprinkle with parsley. Toss. Pour in enough prepared sauce to thoroughly coat pasta. Serve garnished with pecorino, more chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil, if you like.
If you’re feeling industrious, you can forgo the store-bought stuff and custom-make your noodles. A simple pasta machine with a table clamp will let you crank out pasta to your desired thickness.
Campagnolo’s chef-owner runs one of the city’s most successful Italian restaurants using his Venetian grandmother’s recipes. He rarely deviates from her ways, except with his tomato sugo: she puts her garlic cloves in whole, but he slices and sautés them first to concentrate the flavour. For Campagnolo’s signature spaghetti all’amatriciana, Harding amplifies the sauce with guanciale and fresh pecorino. Home cooks can swap out guanciale (pig’s cheek) for pancetta (pig’s belly) and use store-bought pasta instead of making their own. The difference is just a few shades of the same general excellence.