This is Rome's most famous pasta sauce. It originated in a town just outside Rome called Amatrice. This makes about a 1 quart: Serves 4 over a pound of pasta as a main course. This sauce goes well with perfect with bucatini, perciatelli, or spaghetti.
2 Tbls olive oil 6 ounces pancetta or slab bacon, diced 1 yellow onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced Pinch of dried crushed red pepper flakes 1 (28oz) can tomato puree 1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
In a large, heavy skillet heat the oil over medium flame. Add the pancetta and saute until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add the onion and saute until tender, about another 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in the tomato puree and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat until the sauce thickens slightly and the flavors blend, about 15 minutes. Stir in the cheese. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.
The sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before using.