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Linguine with Shrimp all'Amatriciana

Amatriciana sauce is used in the traditional Roman dish bucatini all'Amatriciana. This dish typically uses a cured meat called guanciale (pork jowl) or sometimes pancetta and a long noodle with a hole in it called bucatini. The story goes that the sauce originally came from the town of Amatrice, Italy, thus its name--all'Amatriciana. I'm from Naples, so naturally I like to put my own little seaside spin on the dish--shrimp! You can make this dish with the shrimp or without them--but if you like shrimp, you're gonna love this dish. I use linguine but any long pasta (spaghetti, bucatini, perciatelli) will be just as delicious.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 50 min
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Salt

1 teaspoon olive oil

6 ounces pancetta, cut into small cubes

1 small onion, finely chopped

Pinch of hot pepper flakes

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/2 cup white wine

One 28-ounce can peeled cherry tomatoes or Italian whole plum tomatoes

12 ounces linguine or bucatini

1 pound shelled and deveined shrimp

Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water up to a boil.
  2. Heat a large skillet with high sides over medium-high heat. Add the oil and pancetta and cook together until the pancetta becomes nice and crispy all around, about 3 minutes. Remove the pancetta onto a plate using a slotted spoon and set aside. If your pancetta has rendered a lot of fat, discard some and leave behind only 2 tablespoons.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion and cook until it's softened a bit and developed some color, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the hot pepper flakes and garlic and half of the chopped parsley and cook them all together for about 2 minutes.
  4. Deglaze your pan with the wine, allowing it to reduce for about a minute. Add the cherry tomatoes or whole plum tomatoes (if using the plum tomatoes, make sure to crush them with your hand before you add them in) and the cooked pancetta and give everything a good stir. Cook the sauce for about 15 minutes.
  5. At this point, add your pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package instructions, about 9 minutes.
  6. Add the shrimp to the sauce and give everything a good stir. Cover the skillet with a lid, increase the heat to medium high and cook everything together until the shrimp are fully cooked, 5 or 6 minutes.
  7. Taste the sauce and season (I like to taste my sauce and season at this point because the pancetta is quite salty) with some salt and pepper and stir in the remaining fresh parsley.
  8. Drain the pasta and add it back in the same large pot. Add the sauce and shrimp and mix everything together so that every strand of linguine is coated in that spicy sauce!

Cook’s Note

Be sure to salt your pasta water well--it should taste like the Mediterranean Sea.

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