A twist on Amatriciana (approx. for two) With Jukes 6

Each month, Matthew Jukes gives you a simple but stunning starter or main course recipe to serve with either Jukes 1, 6 or 2.  

This month is a twist on Amatriciana (approx. for two) with Jukes 6:

Ingredients - A twist on Amatriciana

250g Cherry tomatoes (those from The Tomato Stall Isle of Wight are the best at this time of year)

1 tin of Cherry tomatoes

2 Garlic cloves finely sliced 

2 Red onions (Tropea onions are best if you can find them) finely sliced

70g Chopped pancetta 

1 dried red peperoncino

Half a teaspoon dried oregano or a couple of sprigs of fresh oregano

Grated Parmesan to serve

Pasta of choice (250g)

Extra Virgin Olive oil

Salt and Pepper 


Method - Place the cherry tomatoes in a baking dish with plenty of olive oil, sea salt and cracked black pepper in the oven at 160 degrees C and roast slowly for 45 minutes or until they start to gently turn colour and darken.

Meanwhile, in a heavy-bottomed, medium-sized pan fry the pancetta quickly over a high heat until crispy.  Remove the pancetta from the pan and keep to one side on kitchen roll to drain off the excess oil. Wipe the pan down with some kitchen roll. 

Then, in the same pan, use a healthy glug of extra virgin olive oil and gently fry the onions, peperoncino, oregano and garlic for 30 minutes or until the onions have softened completely and are starting to caramelise.  Be careful not to burn them.  Pour in the tin of cherry tomatoes and the pancetta and keep cooking over a low heat until the sauce is sticky and thick (this takes another 20-30 minutes).

Put your pasta on to boil.  Stir in the roasted tomatoes to the sauce and season to taste with sea salt and masses of cracked black pepper. Add your cooked pasta of choice to the pan (penne, spaghetti or linguine work well) and mix well.  If the sauce is too dry, add some of the cooking water from the pasta. You may find that you have too much sauce so keep some aside as it freezes well. 

Finish off with lots of grated Parmesan.