Okay let's start off with some ingredients:
- If you want to be fancy, the pasta should be bucatini (above), but spaghetti or linguine will work fine
- Tomato puree - it is important that you do not get tomato sauce, in which they add basil and about a hundred preservatives. It comes in a can and has 1 ingredient: tomatoes. We Americans seem to have difficulty keeping things simple sometimes; in Italy, remember all the glass bottles of passata di pomodoro? Yeah, that's what you're looking for. My personal go-to is a brand called TuttoRosso in a green can, but any will work as long as they don't add too much stuff that's not tomato.
- Cubed Pancetta - this is the toughest one to find in the USA. It will look like this and can be found in the larger supermarkets or Italian grocers.
- Grated pecorino cheese
- Red pepper (the spicy kind)
- Olive Oil
- Optional (but better): red or white wine
1. Ok start off with a frying pan deep enough to hold all the sauce, coated with olive oil, cut up 1/4-1/2 of the onion very small and fry it for maybe a minute.
2. Add the pancetta (half a package for 2-3 people, the whole package for 4-6), a splash of wine if you have it, and a little basil and red pepper to taste (be conservative, you can always add more later).
3. Let all this simmer for a couple minutes - you should have a good aroma going here that will make your neighbors really jealous. Let the wine evaporate a little.
4. Now it's time to add the tomato puree. One normal-sized can should be enough for 2-3 people and a large can for 4-6. Add a spoonful or so of grated pecorino cheese. Stir it all together, adding salt until it tastes good (the pecorino will help with salt).
5. Let this cook on a low flame for about 30-45 minutes.
6. Make the pasta, combine and add a little grated pecorino on top!
(Just a note, the picture above is made differently, don't worry about making yours like it; it was just the best-looking picture I found).