Monday, December 1

Spaghetti with Tomato, Guanciale, & Chile

A favorite recipe from Tosca Cafe in San Francisco

Bucatini with Tomato, Guanciale, and Chile

I was in San Francisco a few weeks ago for work and had a chance to meet up with a good friend for dinner at the recently re-done restaurant, Tosca. Formerly a bar with a colorful reputation, Tosca has been re-imagined as a cozy Italian restaurant by celebrity chef April Bloomfield and has been named one of the best new restaurants in the country by Bon Appetit. Our favorite dish was the bucatini with tomato, guanciale, and chile, so I was thrilled to find the recipe online and make it at home. It's a simple dish, but the combination of spicy tomato sauce, crispy guanciale (salt-cured pork), and perfectly al dente pasta is absolutely delicious and something that pretty much anyone would want to eat. Add a simple green salad and you can have a restaurant-worthy meal on the table in about thirty minutes.

Note: If you can't find guanciale, you can substitute it for thinly-sliced pancetta. If you can find bucatini (I wasn't able to), it will hold the sauce even better than spaghetti.

Related Recipes:
- Weeknight Bolognese
- Chicken Prosciutto Meatballs
- Deconstructed Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti with Tomato, Guanciale, & Chile:
  • Dice 1/4 lb. thinly sliced guanciale and add to a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Cook the guanciale for 10 minutes, or until the fat has rendered and the guanciale is crispy.
  • Remove the guanciale with a slotted spoon and keep the fat in the pan.
  • Add in 1/2 diced red onion and cook for another 7-8 minutes, or until softened and starting to brown.
  • Meanwhile, microwave 1 sprig of rosemary in 20 second intervals until dried, about 60 seconds total.
  • Grind the rosemary in a mortar in pestle or very finely chop.
  • Add the rosemary powder, 15 oz. can of crushed tomatoes, 1 scant tsp. red chile flakes, a pinch of salt, and all but 2 tbsp. guanciale.
  • Bring the sauce to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, season generously with salt, and cook 1 lb. spaghetti according to package instructions.
  • Drain the pasta, reserving 1 c. pasta cooking water.
  • Add the pasta and 1/4 c. of water to the sauce and toss to combine, adding more water as needed to moisten.
  • Divide the pasta onto plates and top with a generous sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese.

Serves four-five