This dish is flavored with guanciale, or cured pork jowl, though pancetta is a fine substitute.
- 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 oz. thinly sliced guanciale or pancetta, cut into 3/4" pieces
- Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small carrot, minced
- 1⁄2 medium onion, minced
- 1⁄2 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
- 1 (28-oz.) can peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, undrained and puréed
- 1 lb. bucatini or spaghetti
- 1 1⁄4 cups grated Pecorino Romano
- Kosher salt, to taste
Heat oil in a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add guanciale; cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 6–8 minutes. Add pepper; cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes more. Increase heat to medium-high; add garlic, carrots, and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 6 minutes. Add chile flakes; cook for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens and flavors meld, 20–25 minutes. Season with salt; keep warm.
Bring a 6-qt. pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until just al dente, 6–8 minutes. Reserve 1⁄2 cup pasta water; drain pasta. Heat reserved sauce over medium heat. Add pasta and reserved water; cook, tossing, until sauce clings to pasta, 2–3 minutes. Add 1⁄2 cup Pecorino; toss. Divide between serving bowls; serve with remaining Pecorino.