Why Matriciana and not Amatriciana.
Long debates about the word “Matriciana”. Some say that the recipe is from Amatrice, a town’s name, (then Amatriciana), while others say the recipe is from Rome.
In fact, there are big differences between the two recipes: no onions and no red sauce, the Amatrice’s recipe, red sauce and onions in Rome.
As a matter of fact the recipe has born in Rome and Amatrice’s inhabitants created a copy of the real recipe, correcting it.
“It is told that Amatrice’s villagers used to go to Rome during winter time (it was much colder in Amatrice).
There was no love lost between the Romans and them, in fact there was a bad joke about them: it was said that they could never be from the same place as Ponzio Pilato, because he, at least, washed his hands, while they did not even wash their hands!”.
The origins of the term “Matriciana” can be different ones, such as:
- The tomatoes* used to prepare the sauce were stored, already at the time of ancient Romans, in special vases called “matraccio”(in latin “matara”), the term still used in Chemical science for a container with a long neck.
- The origins of “spaghetti alla matriciana” are very far back to the times in which society was ruled by the “matriarcato”(matriarchy), a kind of society in which women rule and are the most prominent figures.
In those times it was the dish prepared during some rituals in the period of the winter solstice, on the mountains of Lazio and men were not only excluded but they did not even know about them.
- When the sauce was being prepared a herb called”matricale” was added. Nowadays it is not used very much, unfortunately, in these days of fast-food.
As a matter of fact Matriciana is a derivation from “Gricia” recipe (used by Roman shepherds; and has nothing to do with Amatrice because that town had not been built yet) with “guanciale” and pieces of sausages.
*As a matter of fact we should keep in mind that tomatoes have arrived to Europe only after the discovery of America (discovery? Weren’t Native American already living there? Didn’t Vikings arrive there a lot earlier?), then we are afraid that that theory is too fantastic.
I/2 Kg bucatini, 150 g “guanciale” (if you can not get “guanciale” you will have to use bacon instead, but it won’t be authentic “Matriciana”), one spoonful of extra-virgin olive oil, dry white wine, 6 or 7 good tomatoes (San Marzano or pomodori pelati), a bit of red chilli ( or more, if you like it hot), 100 g grated pecorino romano cheese, salt.
Cut the “‘guanciale” into small cubes and fry it lightly in the oil together the red chilli.
Put the white wine in and take the small cubes of guanciale out of the pan, to throw the excess of grease and to avoid it become too dry. Put the tomatoes cut into slices and without seeds (to ease the peeling of the tomatoes it is better to put them in hot water for a little bit, then peel them and cut them).
After 2 or 3 minutes add your tomatoes, put back in the pan the pieces of guanciale and throw the red chilli. Stir again. Put the pasta in the boiling water and take it out “al dente”.
Put it in a bowl and add the pecorino cheese. Add the sauce and stir again. Put more pecorino cheese, if you wish.