Friday, March 03, 2006
One of my favorite Italian dishes is the spicy amatriciana sauce- a perfect blend of crispy pork (more on that later), tomatoes, hot red pepper flakes, and pecorino and parmesan cheeses. Mama Zu makes an outstanding version in Richmond, rivaling any of Mario Batali's New York creations.
So when I started to make some sauce at home, the recipe lamented that most folks can't make a truly authentic version at home because its so hard to find "pork jowls" or as the Italians say, "guanciale." Pancetta is a nice substitute, and it has become rather easy to find. Lo and behold, I was happy to remember that a fall purchase at the Richmond Farmer's Market had included smoked hog jowls from a local farmer. I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to use them for at the time, but you just never know when hog jowls will come in handy.