‘Stephanie prepared some pork cheeks for me to cook. We braised a few cheeks the other week and served it as a stew with vegetables. Today’s dish however is based on a classic Amatriciana sauce with guanciale. The sauce is made with fresh tomatoes and has no onions and garlic but to try out something a bit different I used a mix of guanciale with cooked fresh pork cheeks and sausages that Stephanie made specially for me using pork cheeks. You must try this pasta.’
For the Amatriciana Sauce, you will need:
120g fresh cooked pork cheeks
50g fresh sausage made from pork cheeks [specially ordered from the butcher]
500g fresh tomatoes, chopped with skin on
a glass of wine
1 all natural stock cube mixed with 100ml water
1 tablespoon tomato paste
A pinch of dried chili flakes
salt and pepper
a pinch of stevia
And 500g pasta of your choice
Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.
In the meantime, cut a thickish slice of guanciale and then chop it up.
Heat the pan with no oil and then fry the guanciale. Chop the cooked pork cheeks. When the guanciale is cooked add the chopped pork cheeks, then the sausage meat.
Add the chopped fresh tomatoes, then the wine and turn the heat down. Add the stock, bayleaf and chili flakes. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes or until the tomatoes start to soften up. Add the tomato paste and if necessary add water. Do not let it dry up. The sauce will start to thicken. Season with salt and pepper and add a pinch of stevia to balance the acidity.
Drain the cooked pasta in a colander and save some pasta water to add to the sauce if it is too dry.
Add the sauce to the pasta and mix gently. If necessary add the pasta water, a spoonful at a time. Serve in individual plates and top with freshly grated pecorino.