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I mentioned our now-favorite pasta dish, bucatini amatriciana, in April and again a couple of weeks ago. To review: I ordered the dish in April at a nearby restaurant, Piatti. Bucatini is basically spaghetti with a narrow hole running down the middle, making it a long, narrow tube. The amatriciana sauce is named after the Italian town of Amatrice and has at its heart guanciale, or cured pig jowls. Pancetta can be substituted, as was done at Piatti, but I have the impression from my limited reading that guanciale is to be preferred.

Last month, when my cousins were in town, we took them to the one place John wanted to see in his first visit to Seattle, the Pike Place Market. We had been talking about guanciale the night before, and the fact that Salumi, famed local purveyor of cured meats, supplies it. We then saw guanciale down at the Market, in the meat case at DeLaurenti. John bought some for us, but we couldn’t find bucatini in the DeLaurenti pasta section. What we did find was a package of rigatini, which was thicker than spaghetti, with a proportionally wider hole in the middle. Gail made rigatini amatriciana for Joel’s birthday dinner that night. As I said in my post, “The guanciale made all the difference. It was so tasty. Go get some, get whatever pasta you like, and make this dish. It’s great.” I also noted that Gail used the recipe from Babbo, Mario Batali’s restaurant, which is appropriate, since the Salumi was started by Mario’s father, Armandino.

Which brings me to this week. Two days ago Gail’s old friend Cynthia was visiting from Syracuse (well, Cazenovia) and they went to the Market. While at DeLaurenti, Gail bought some guanciale again. And this time she found bucatini as well. So we had bucatini amatriciana for dinner at last. And yet again, it was great. When I ate some of the leftovers yesterday, I did find the sauce a little on the salty side. I don’t know if anything changed overnight. Maybe I just had more guanciale and less of the rest. Or maybe we need to cut the guanciale into smaller pieces. In any case, once again, I recommend that you buy some guanciale and try it for yourself.

Categories: Food
  1. gailirving
    July 17, 2009 at 12:03 PM

    Cynthia is not really old. We’ve just known her for a long long time.

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