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“Traditionally this sauce has just 5 ingredients: olive oil, bacon/pork jowl, onion, tomato, chili pepper. I add bay to compliment onion and wine for brightness and garlic, because we love it.”
Heat a saucepot or Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat with EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. Add guanciale or pancetta and stir 2 minutes to render—do not brown fully. Add onions, garlic, chili and bay, and partially cover. Cook to soften onions being careful to not brown them, about 12 minutes. Add wine or stock and reduce heat. Simmer partially covered a few minutes until onions are opaque then add tomatoes, crushing them with a spoon. Simmer 15 minutes more to thicken then remove bay.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Season the water liberally with salt and cook the pasta to 1 minute shy of al dente per package directions. Reserve about 3/4 cup starchy water then drain pasta.