By Rachel Holt

BOSTON (CBS) – Recently voted one of the Top Ten Best New Chefs in America by Food & Wine Magazine, Douglass Williams, Executive Chef and Owner of MIDA in Boston’s South End, joins Host Rachel Holt in our test kitchen to teach us how to make one of his favorite dishes, and shares the secrets to cooking the perfect pasta.

Bucatini all’amatriciana – Serves 2

Pasta:

Bucatini (any thickness)

 

Sauce:

-1/2 cup good olive oil or remaining guanciale fat (the guanch fat is always best)

-1/2 cup chopped white onion 

-1/2 cup white wine

-1/4 cup sherry vinegar

-28 oz of whole or blended San Marzano tomato  (crush by hand if not blended)

-2 oz guanciale (diced and rendered beforehand)

-2 tsp ground black pepper

-2 pinches Kosher salt

 

For the pickup:

2 tbsp EVOO

1 tsp chopped garlic

1/4 cup of rendered/diced guanciale

 

Garnishing:

2 tbsp of EVOO

1/4 cup of grated pecorino Romano cheese

 

A Dutch oven or slightly wide pot works well for this

 

-Add the olive oil to a non-heated, pan, then place the pan on high heat. When the oil becomes appropriate to add the onions pour them in and keep them sweating (not too high to brown, but not too low). Add two pinches salt. After 4 min they should be translucent with frequent stirring. 

 

-Once the onions are sweated, carefully add the white wine (off of the heat, as to not catch the flame). Reduce the liquid by half

 

-Add sherry, then reduce that liquid by half again.

 

-Add the crushed or blended tomatoes to the pot, stir carefully. Bring to a boil then reduce to a medium-low simmer, stirring every 5 minutes. Cook down by 1/4 volume, leaving you with 3/4 of the sauce you started with. Taste, taste, taste and adjust if pepper or salt needed or desired. 

 

-You want it to be very peppery, not offensive but simply welcoming spice that continues on the palate, a balance with the sherry vinegar, mouthwatering, and a salt presence that heightens the flavors and helps create a harmony. It helps to close your eyes :)

 

-That sauce will hold for 1 week in the fridge and indefinitely in the freezer.

 

-When preparing to make the dish, start with a medium sized sauté pan. Add EVOO, chopped garlic, guanciale pieces and get crisp and golden brown. Pull off the heat. Add 8 oz. of amatriciana sauce, plus 8 oz. of tap or pasta water. 

 

-Bring sauce to a boil and add al dente pasta. Keep the pan on high heat, gently flipping and tossing the pasta to mix with the sauce while the sauce reduces.

 

-Taste the sauce. When it is balanced in flavor but also seems to coat the pasta well it is done. 

 

-Transfer to a plate, top with a drizzle of olive oil and grated pecorino cheese.

Rachel Holt

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