These are the ingredients I dug out of my fridge to make this pasta:
- A slice of smoked guanciale
- 3 slices of Tuscan wild boar salami
- 3 tinned plum tomatoes
- Half a piece of celery
- Half a carrot
- 3 spring onions (white part only)
- Many sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 small burrata
- 100ml chicken stock
- Red wine
- Sugar and salt to taste
Chop very finely the carrot spring onions (I used spring onions as that's what I had in the fridge, but onions or leeks will be equally good), and celery.
I was pretty excited to open the box of this mini burrata, produced in Puglia by Centro Latte Stasi.
I love this moment, cutting through the outer "sack" of the burrata, watching the cream leaking out first, followed by oozing clots of burrata. beautiful. Of course, I couldn't resist from having some of this before finishing my pasta. I wouldn't put all of it on the bucatini anyway.
Start off by frying the guanciale in olive oil, and once well browned, add the carrots, celery and spring onions.
Add a splash of red wine (a third of a glass) and quickly let evaporate on high heat. Once well evaporated, add the chicken stock, and simmer over medium heat.
Once the chicken stock is half absorbed, add about 3 whole canned plum tomatoes and chop them directly in the sauce while stirring. Keep reducing over low heat and add salt and a small pinch of sugar should the tomato be excessively sour. Keep adjusting as you go.
In the meantime, boil some water in a large pot, salt it and add the bucatini. They usually take 10-12 minutes to cook. Continue to cook the sauce, and after about 8 minutes from adding the tomatoes, add a few sprigs of thyme and if necessary top up the sauce with some of the boiling water from the pasta pot in order to prevent it from drying out. Let the thyme release its flavour into the sauce over low heat.
Drain the bucatini once ready, then toss into the sauce pan and serve into serving bowls. Top up with some fresh burrata cheese, grated black pepper, and a drizzle of real extra virgin olive oil (proper strong, full flavour. I used a Sicilian one here, which is sold at Gattopardo). Garnish with fresh thyme.
I was captured by the intense flavour of this pasta, which will definitely be a repeat. The gaminess from the wild boar was balanced by the chunks of creamy burrata, and the thyme flavour added a touch of freshness to the whole dish. And once again, I ate too much...