All the stories you can read on the internet about bucatini alla matriciana or amatrciana are very funny. There are the ones that claim that the pasta is originally from Amatrice a place close to Rome. Others claim that this is a typical dish of Rome. For me the truth is between the two. Due to the transumanza the moving of the sheep herds, that passed the city of Rome, the shepherds brought guanciale along with them, using it for preparing the pasta sauce. So the Romans learned about this dish and perfectionated it.
Transumanza lasted until my very young years. You could see the streets of Rome invaded by migrating sheep . The poet D'Annunzio wrote a famous poem about it called settembre. You will not find bucatini so easily in the States, but you can use spaghetti. For the guanciale, you can use pancetta, which is usually unsmoked. Bacon is my last favorite option.
3 oz of guanciale, one small onion, 6 oz of pasta, a scarce table spoon vinegar two cups tomato sauce, pecorino cheese about half a cup
For the tomato sauce you can use a can or look here.
Cut the guanciale and than start frying it at medium high temperature on a pan. It has to get crunchy and have a dark color. When it looks like this add the vinegar. I used a balsamic vinegar, which is not to be confused with the aceto balsamico tradizionale, which you never cook with. It is only after that that you reduce the heat and add the chopped onion. Once the onion is cooked you finally add the tomato sauce.
Let the sauce cook for about twenty minutes. The last touch is to adjust the sauce with pepper and chili pepper and salt if needed. I am very cautious because very often the guanciale has a lot of spice by itself.
In the meantime you boiled the pasta, which i take out al dente and than pass over in the pan with the hot sauce for a minute turning it continuously at medium heat. I always let everyone at the table decide the amount of cheese they want on their dish.
A wine to pare with
Local wines like Olevano Romano would be nice, but also a Shiraz with its typical spicy nose would match the pepper note of the sauce