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Antico Arco Buccatini all'Amatriciana recipe

I had this dish there in July of '09, and I have dreamed about it ever since. To me, it was the apotheosis of Buccatini all'Amatriciana. If anyone is going there and can wrestle the recipe out of them, I'd be eternally grateful. Or, maybe someone already has it? It was so great, that I am still thinking about it nearly two years later!

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Antico Arco
Piazzale Aurelio, 7, Roma 00151, IT

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  1. It's spelled bucatini. Why don't you just write to the restaurant? They'd be flattered.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mbfant

      OK, but maybe I'd better spell it right!

    2. I asked a chef who used to work there. will write if he lets me know!

      6 Replies
        1. re: roxlet

          Looks like he is willing to share some guidelines at least, am trying to get him post them here :)

            1. re: roxlet

              Any updates? I'm in love with this dish.

              1. re: hong_kong_foodie

                He obviously didn't want to make the secrets public ;) but as far as i know he has contacted the op to give details.

                1. re: vinoroma

                  Someone did send me recipe guidelines, but asked me not to make it public. Sorry. It's not much different than what's been discussed here...

      1. Can you tell me how close it was in overall character to my idea of the ideal Bucatini all'Amatriciana, which would be like this:

        The sauce: dense, thick, strongly tomatoey; something like what you might get if you combined fresh, peeled, cored, seeded, and drained (i.e. removed of the excess thin liquid you get) tomatoes with a good dollop of tomato paste.

        The guanciale: large, striplike bits, maybe half-earthworm size, with a powerful, porky flavour, and plenty of fat to give them a tender, supple consistency, in sufficient quantity overall to ensure several bits per fork.

        The bucatini: Bucatini and no other shape, i.e. like very thick spaghetti with a pinhole in the middle, with that unique flavour of wheat semolina and very pure water, supple on the fork yet firm in the mouth, without any hints of either crunchiness or mushiness.

        I've been on a search of the ultimate Bucatini all'Amatriciana in Rome; Antico Arco is hyper-upscale relative to the "normal" sorts of places that you might expect to find this dish but perhaps for that very reason might be ultimate. I've also seen reports that Il Convivio Troiani has an ultimate version as well. For similar reasons it might be worth trying them; but it would seem like ridiculous overkill to try both on the same visit.

        5 Replies
        1. re: AlexRast

          I think I've had all'Amatriciana once at Antico Arco and it wasn't with bucatini. Maybe just once or maybe more than once.

          This is my favorite pasta dish to order in Rome and I pretty much order it wherever it's on the menu, so for me trying it at both places you mention would not be overkill.

          1. re: AlexRast

            actually the sauce should not be dense and no Roman sauce contains tomato paste. Spaghetti is served in Amatrice more often than bucatini. Antico Arco is not hyper-upscale, but it is certainly not a traditional trattoria. Still, such places often pride themselves on their versions of one or two classics. Their cacio e pepe and carbonara are good too. Both Agata e Romeo (known especially for their carbonara, however) and Troiani (Il Convivio) have great versions of amatriciana. Troiani also does an incredible gricia.

            1. re: mbfant

              Yes, I didn't mean that my vision of the ideal would actually contain tomato paste. What I meant is that the density of the *flavour* should be similar to what one might expect by the combination described. All too often tomato-based sauces come out insipid and lacking in flavour, usually because the tomatoes weren't of the utmost quality or weren't ripe.

              The Bucatini insistence might not be true, necessarily, of what would happen in Amatrice, but here I'm thinking of what happens in Rome, where bucatini has become the "canonical" pasta to use. I'm thinking, in other words, of the ideal as interpreted through the Roman method.

            2. re: AlexRast

              Antico Arco serves mezze maniche all'amatriciana. not a single bucatini dish on the menu.

              www.parlafood.com

              1. re: katieparla

                Yeah yeah yeah, that's what I've had, three times over the years, I think, at Antico Arco. I love it. I am not a carbonara fan (too rich for me, I like the counterbalance/acidity of tomato with my fat).

                I am an okay cook but for some reason I cannot make this dish taste right at home...

            3. Amatriciana has been for years and shall be a quite bloody argument amongst traditional roman cuisine lovers.
              I know Antico Arco quite well and first of all, the chef you're trying to get the recipe out from might not be working there anymore and everyone of them will have its own very personal way on making it, so you get exlpained also why someones of you had bucatini and overs didnt.
              Second point Antico Arco is quite expensive whilst amatriciana is quite poor, the two things are quite opposite imho, also because the best place to have amatriciana is not rome...
              If you're a fan of try this at home then I'll try to share (I'm from rome so please forgive my average english) my humile and personal recipe
              you will need:
              plenty of mature tomatoes
              cheek bacon (not normal bacon otherwise you'll get an aggressive a far too strong sauce)
              lard not olive oil
              bucatini (de cecco spaghetti nr. 12 will do fairly the same)
              pecorino (better not from rome because it's far too salty)

              0.
              boil plenty of water
              1.
              dip for one minute the tomatoes in boiling water, this will help you to peel them more easily
              2.
              once peeled half the tomatoes and cut the seeds, those to preparation helps you to keep the tomatoes sweet, not acid. Put the cut tomatoes and their jiuce in a boul
              3.
              cut the cheek bacon into stripes, not cubes. this will keep the lard more tender and crispy
              and scratch the pecorino if you want a more delicate variation go 50% pecorino and 50% parmigiano (italian parmigiano I mean)
              4.
              warm a pan (medium flame) and put one spoon of lard and wait for it to melt, the put the bacon and wait for it to get yellow (if it gets brown or near to there the bacon is lost), the timing is all, its the difference between having a boiled or an overcooked and woody piece of bacon, there is no instruction, just experience, visually the fat part of the bacon should be near to vanish, but still consistent. Immediately lower the flame to low and pour in the tomatoes.
              5.
              throw in the pasta in the boiling water
              6.
              cook at low flame for 10 mins (the sauce needs to be dense but still liquid enought to be absorbed by the pasta) and stir from time to time with a woodden spoon
              7.
              the pasta should be almost ready (not ready otherwise it will get overcooked by sauteeing it with the tomato sauce), throw it in the pan and sautee mixing with pecorino (or pecorino and parmigiano).
              8.
              once done serve in prewarmed dishes and garnish with more pecorino and black pepper

              for 4 pax
              400 grams of pasta
              250 grams of cheek bacon
              500 grams of red mature tomatoes
              150 grams of pecorino
              1 spoon of lard
              black pepper

              Hope you'll enjoy

              1 Reply
              1. re: korytrav

                Wonderful korytrav - thank you for your contribution!