- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 12 ounces guanciale sliced 1/4-inch thick and then cut into 3/4-inch rectangles
- 1 small red onion diced
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1-1/2 tbsp parsley chopped
- 20 ounces pureed canned plum tomatoes
- 1 pound bucatini pasta
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano
- 1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano
- Bring eight quarts of water to a boil. Season with salt until it tastes like seawater.
- In a large sauté pan, combine olive oil, guanciale or smoked bacon and red onion. Cook over medium heat until the guanciale is completely rendered and crispy on both sides.
- Add the tomato paste, chili flakes, and half of the chopped parsley. Let the paste fry in the rendered fat until it darkens slightly, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomato puree and stir to incorporate. Let simmer for 1 to 2 minutes to reduce. Taste for seasoning.
- Cook the bucatini in the boiling water for 1 minute less than the package instructions. Drain the pasta, reserving a small amount of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta to the sauce and cook together for 30 seconds to a minute. Sparingly add some of the reserved pasta water to adjust the consistency of the sauce so that it evenly coats the noodle. Taste for done-ness.
- Add the remaining parsley and remove the pan from the heat. Toss the pasta while gradually adding the cheese, allowing the cheese to emulsify into the sauce and serve immediately.