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Authentic spaghetti all'amatriciana recipe

Authentic spaghetti all'amatriciana recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Pasta
  • Pasta types
  • Spaghetti

Spaghetti or bucatini all'amatriciana is one of the most iconic Italian pasta dishes. In Italy, we use cured pig cheek, known as 'guanciale' which is worth trying to track down with a good butcher. If you can't find it, you can use cubes of pancetta or bacon. The pasta is cooked and tossed in a slightly spicy tomato sauce and served with plenty of freshly grated Pecorino cheese.

Be the first to make this!

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 400g spaghetti
  • 125g guanciale, pancetta or bacon, cubed
  • 120ml white wine
  • 1 (400g) San Marzano® plum tomatoes, crushed or passata
  • 1 pinch dried chilli flakes
  • 100g freshly grated Pecorino cheese
  • salt, to taste

MethodPrep:5min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:25min

  1. Cook spaghetti according to packet directions until "al dente". Drain, reserving about 1 ladle of cooking liquid.
  2. Heat a frying pan over medium heat; add guanciale (or pancetta). Cook until nearly crisp, then pour in wine and let the alcohol evaporate. Use a slotted spoon to remove the guanciale; set aside.
  3. In the same pan; add crushed tomatoes, salt and chilli flakes. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes over low heat, checking often. Stir in the cooked guanciale and remove pan from heat. Stir in cooked pasta, adding some of the reserved cooking liquid if needed.
  4. Sprinkle with pecorino romano cheese, add more chili peppers if like, and serve immediately.
  5. Portion into 4 warm bowls or one large dish, with freshly grated Pecorino and additional chilli flakes on top.

Pasta tips

A few tips to perfectly cook pasta, as Italians would do: use a large amount of water, around 1L per 100g of pasta; add the pasta only when the water is boiling, stir, then bring back to the boil, stirring from time to time. Cook 1 minute less than the time suggested on the packet; drain and reserve some of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the sauce and finish cooking, adding some of the reserved water as needed. Serve straightaway! Also, never rinse pasta, you'll lose the starch needed to keep it moist.

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While bucatini all'Amatriciana is associated with Rome, the pasta dish is actually enjoyed all around Italy. It originated in Amatrice, a village in Lazio around two hours northeast of Rome.

Considered cibo povero (peasant cooking), this recipe was first prepared with just guanciale and Pecorino Romano – tomatoes weren't added until the end of the 17th century. The pasta dish calls for just a few ingredients, and it's easy to make at home – just follow the below recipe.

Bucatini All’Amatriciana (a lá Jeff)

  • 2-3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound of bucatini pasta
  • 1/2 pound guanciale, chopped into ½-inch chunks
  • 1 medium-to-large-size onion, minced (1 cup’s worth)
  • 1 can (28 oz.) of San Marzano tomatoes (make sure the can says “D.O.P.”), hand-crushed or lightly crushed in a blender/food processor
  • 5 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano, plus a little extra for serving
  • 3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste

Heat the oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Add the guanciale and cook until it starts to get crispy and a little brown, about 7 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the red pepper flakes and let their flavor infuse the oil for about 30 seconds. Add the onion and stir for about a minute. Next, add the garlic and cook until it softens and starts to get some golden-brown spots, about 7-8 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and salt. Bring to a simmer and then lower the heat and let cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly. Test for salt and add more if necessary. (Don’t go too crazy because the guanciale provides ample flavor.) Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt the water once it starts boiling. Add pasta and cook until it is just shy of al dente. Reserve about ½ cup of the pasta water and then strain the pasta.

Add the pasta to the tomato-sauce pan and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the pasta water little by little to prevent it from getting too dry. Stir in the Pecorino Romano. Serve with a little extra Pecorino if desired.

Amatriciana (Guanciale, Tomato, and Pecorino Romano)

This simple but delicious sauce is named for the town of Amatrice, in the mountainous northeastern panhandle of Lazio, near Abruzzo and the Marche. It seems incredible for such an easy, humble sauce, but this is one of the dishes self-appointed purists (read fanatics) will fight over to the death, or at least death by boredom. You have to use spaghetti or bucatini, they say—nor is it that simple, since there are spaghetti-only and bucatini-only factions. No cheese but pecorino is permitted. And woe betide you if you use pancetta in place of guanciale.

There is, however, some room for individual expression. Some cooks use onion and chile, some not. A few swear by a splash of white wine "to cut the fat."

The pecorino should ideally be that made in Amatrice or Abruzzo or Sicily, milder and fattier than pecorino romano, but pecorino romano is certainly what you'll find used in Rome. (Pecorino romano is a kind of cheese from a large designated area that includes the entire Lazio and Sardegna regions and the province of Grosseto in Tuscany, not just Rome it is widely available in the United States.) Parmigiano is not used in amatriciana it's made with cow's milk, and Rome and its mountainous hinterland is traditionally a land of sheep, after all. The shepherds of yesteryear, who spent months in the hills with their flocks, would make this flavorful dish for themselves. You can imagine that they were not worried about someone calling the food police if they grabbed a piece of pancetta instead of guanciale or one kind of sheep cheese instead of another. But they would never have used smoked bacon, which is not part of their tradition.

Like many rustic, simple sauces that have found immortality on trattoria menus throughout Italy (and beyond), this dish is only as good as its ingredients. Take the tomatoes. The rugged mountainous area of northeastern Lazio where Amatrice is located was never great tomato-growing territory, or at least not for most of the year, so it was normal to use canned or jarred tomatoes. But the most delicious amatriciana I've ever tasted was made by Oretta (of course) at her house about halfway between Rome and Amatrice with tomatoes from her garden. After her ecstatic guests had practically licked their plates, she announced with an air of regret that this delicious dish was "not really l'amatriciana" because she had used fresh tomatoes. She later revised the statement to the more reasonable pronouncement that if you have a basketful of gorgeous San Marzano tomatoes from your garden, of course you should peel and seed them and make the sauce, and handed me a jar of her home-canned tomatoes to use in the winter. Whether you use fresh or canned, the result is a red sauce studded with bits of lightly fried pork, but you don't want it too red. The pasta and guanciale should be coated with a thin mantle of sauce, not hidden. Don't let the gloppy, oversauced trattoria version be your model. The cheese is sharp and salty, but, again, don't use too much.

Many people consider onion a deviation from the sacred original, but hardly anyone thinks it doesn't taste good. In fact, it is delicious. If you use it, add a small chopped onion to the guanciale fat and sauté until transparent, then add the tomato.


Bring Rome to your plate with this traditional Amatriciana recipe from Italy’s capital. Also known as bucatini al’amatriciana, you just need 3 simple ingredients to create a hearty pasta dish full of salty and rich flavours thanks to the perfect combination of tomato and guanciale.

250g/8.8oz Bucatini Pasta (for 2 people)
75g/2.6oz Guanciale /Pig cheek (Per person once skin is removed)
Subsitute options: Pancetta, salami – not bacon!
1 can/400g/14.1oz peeled tomatoes
Salt & Pepper
5L water

Medium sized deep fry pan
Wooden spoon
Large pot for boiling pasta
Pasta strainer/Long tongs

  1. This amatriciana recipe starts with the guanciale! Cut it into strips, and then again into cubes, making sure to keep some of the fat on as this helps it remain juicy and tender.
  2. Next, it’s time to use Nonna’s favourite utensil for squashing peeled tomatoes…a fork! Pour the tomatoes into a bowl and squash them down, mixing as you go.
  3. Boil approx. 5L water in a large pot and once it boils, add a handful of rock salt.
  4. Put a pan on your stove at a low-medium heat and add the guanciale – no oil! Leave this to slowly cook and crisp in the pan, gently moving it around with a wooden spoon every so often.
  5. Once the guanciale has started to crisp and change colour, this amatriciana recipe calls for white wine! Add one glass and mix through.
  6. After 3 minutes, most of the wine will have evaporated, mix again and add the peeled tomatoes.
  7. Use your wooden spoon to stir through and leave to simmer for 10-15minutes. If your stove is too strong, just lower it so it cooks more gently.
  8. While this amatriciana recipe sauce is simmering, add a touch of salt and be generous with pepper.
  9. Once the sauce has reduced, switch off the stove and cook your pasta al dente (according to packet instructions).
  10. Remove the pasta from the pot, and add it to the pan, making sure some of the pasta water is added in too. Then add 5 extra tablespoons of pasta water and mix the sauce through the pan really well.


Twist a serving of pasta into a ladle and then transfer it onto a flat, round, plate. Sprinkle it with a generous amount of pecorino cheese – adding some more sauce and guanciale from the bottom of the pan too, keeping it nice and juicy.

These are some other Roman Pasta recipes you MUST try:

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  • 500 g (1,1 lb) of spaghetti
  • 125 g (4,4 oz) of guanciale
  • 400 g (14 oz) of canned San Marzano tomatoes
  • 80 g (3 oz) of grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 red pepper
  • 50 ml dry white wine (optional)
  • fine and coarse salt

Step 1) – You’ll need a rather large pan to make Amatriciana sauce. So first of all cut guanciale into strips. The dark part of guanciale, which you see in the picture, is rich in pepper and spices and should not be throwaway. It gives the sauce a very tasty flavor so keep it. Then place the red pepper in the frying pan and add the guanciale.

Step 2) -Sauté the guanciale, turning it often with a wooden spoon, until the white fat part has become transparent and golden (about 5 min). Now is the time to add the white wine (optional). Keep the high heat and let it evaporate. Meantime keep ready with peeled tomatoes. You can find many types of canned tomatoes but San Marzano variety are the best choice for this recipe.

Step 3) – Now add peeled tomatoes with their sauce, stir, then cook Amatriciana sauce for 10 minutes on medium heat. Add fine salt to taste.

Step 4) – When the sauce is ready, remove the red pepper and keep the sauce aside. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in plenty of salted water, following the cooking times specified on the package.

A good bronze drawn pasta or durum wheat semolina would be optimal (it would be a pity to spoil the dish with a poor quality pasta so be careful what type of pasta you are going to choose). Drain spaghetti al dente and pour them into the pan with Amatriciana sauce. Stir and add grated pecorino romano which will bind all the ingredients. Even for pecorino cheese, choose the best one.

Don’t Make Recipes With Poor Ingredients Because You Will Get Poor Recipes”

Step 5) – Now traditional pasta Amatriciana recipe is ready. Serve very hot with a further sprinkling of pecorino romano.

Spaghetti All’ Amatriciana

Guys, the struggle is real. I have ZERO energy! I have no idea how I’m going to drag my poor self through now til December 31st.

Also, I’m kinda hoping that come the New Year I get a whole 100% boost of energy to be a brand new person in 2016. That’s how it works, right? ?

The thing is: I am so exhausted. Deep in my bones exhausted with working the blog plus my survival job, getting everything done for our Brazilian trip, buying Christmas gifts, and trying not to get stampeded by the insane amount of tourists in Time Square right now. Yes, sometimes I feel like little Simba being chased by the wildebeest stampede in the middle of the jungle. Except, thankfully, I do not lose my dad (Mufasa). Only my dignity!

I know you are probably going through something similar, since the holidays are always chaotic for everybody, I thought I would share an easy and quick Spaghetti all’ Amatriciana that will, hopefully, give us the energy to finish this year!

Spaghetti all’ Amatriciana is a traditional Italian pasta dish that originated in the town of Amatrice (in the mountainous province of Rieti of Lazio region).

The sauce is traditionally prepared with guanciale (cured pork cheek), crushed tomatoes, chili pepper and grated pecorino. However, as you know, I have difficulty following rules, so I adapted the recipe to use whatever I had in my pantry/fridge. The results were this luscious spicy pasta dish made with pancetta, Bertolli Riserva Marinara with Parmigiano-Reggiano , onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, basil, white wine and some more Parmigiano-Reggiano. Not quite authentic, but equally amazing! ?

And, while most people believe you have to serve this sauce with bucatini pasta, the original dish was prepared with spaghetti. I say: use whatever pasta you have in your pantry. Any type of dry pasta, or even zoodles, works here!

Tim went crazy over this dish. By the time I thought of going for some leftovers, they were all gone! He even had it for breakfast. Yes, I am aware that I have a very weird husband… No need to point that out!

I do find it funny, though, that he takes a long time to eat the most elaborate dishes I make, but as soon I make something quick and easy, he’ll go nuts about it and won’t stop talking about how great of a cook I am. And I’m like: Seriously? I just cooked some pasta and tossed with a handful of ingredients.

But I guess that’s how Italian cuisine goes. Fresh, simple ingredients yet incredibly flavorful results!

A few months ago, Bertolli released a new line of Marinara sauces called Riserva.

I got to experiment with it in October and ending up making a delicious recipe for Arancini di Riso with Balsamic Vinegar and Caramelized Onions Marinara Sauce, where I used their tasty sauce as a dip. This time I picked the Marinara with Parmigiano-Reggiano and, again, it did not disappoint.

I really love how fresh the sauces taste, as if they were homemade. Bertolli does all the work for you and all that is left is to open a jar and pour it over cooked pasta. It really doesn’t get much better than that!

EXCEPT when the lovely folks at Bertolli decide to be generous and throw a $1.50 off coupon our way so we can buy their product without breaking the bank. Then it gets oh-so-much-better.

However, as much as I’m sure that you would be happy with just some pasta tossed with Bertolli’s Marinara with Parmigiano-Reggiano , I highly recommend going the extra mile and making this Spaghetti all’Amatriciana.

Serve with a simple green salad and some crusty bread. Oh, and don’t forget the wine! (Who would forget the wine? Not me!)

Authentic spaghetti all'amatriciana recipe - Recipes

An authentic Italian recipe from our kitchen to yours. Buon Appetito!

- 8 medium plum tomatoes, diced

- 1/8 teaspoon chili pepper (optional)

1. Prepare the water for the pasta according the manufacturer's instructions.

2. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the lard to the pan and swirl it around until it has melted and coats the bottom of the pan. To the pan, add the guanciale and sauté until the fat has been rendered and the meat is golden and crisp.

3. Strain the guanciale from the pan onto a plate, and then add the diced tomatoes to the pan along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir the ingredients in the pan thoroughly to combine. Allow the tomatoes to come to a simmer and then cover the pan and cook for 12 - 15 minutes, stirring occasionally or until the tomatoes have broken down into a sauce.

4. While the tomato sauce is cooking, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the manufacturer's instructions.

5. When the pasta has finished cooking to your desired consistency, strain it from the pasta water, and then add it to the pan with the tomato sauce. Add the drained guanciale back to the pan with the tomato sauce as well along with the chili pepper (optional). Toss all ingredients well to combine.

6. Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle half of the pecorino over the pasta. Toss the ingredients in the pan once more so that the pecorino is evenly distributed throughout the dish.

7. Plate the pasta and top with the rest of the pecorino. Serve hot.

True Bucatini all’ Amatriciana is a very local dish requiring pecorino and guanciale from the region of Amatrice in Italy. While this recipe is authentic, the flavor will not be identical to the dish you would have in Amatrice.

The taste of tradition.

Tomato processing begins with the sorting of the best tomatoes that are washed to eliminate any traces of earth or other unwanted materials. Then the most suitable fruit are sorted with the perfectly ripe and whole fruit chosen for processing. Next, the fruit is brought to a high temperature to separate the skin from the flesh, and then an optic sorter eliminates any damaged fruit, the stems and traces of skin. At this point in the production line, the tin cans are filled with the whole peeled tomatoes and their juice, and are vacuum-sealed to preserve their freshness and flavour.

The next phase in the operation is sterilisation, which eliminates any micro-organisms that could alter the product. At the end of processing, the canned whole peeled tomatoes are ready for the final metres of the conveyor belt for labelling and packing in cartons. Next stop, home kitchens and gourmet restaurants all around the world.

Bucatini all’Amatriciana

Ingredients US Metric

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon or guanciale, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small onion, minced (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • One (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional), plus more for the cooking water
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound dried bucatini or spaghetti
  • 1/3 cup shredded pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Heat the oil in a very large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until it just begins to crisp, about 6 minutes.

If desired, drain some of the bacon drippings and oil from the skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is transparent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until it’s reduced, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes (along with their juices) and vinegar and bring to a simmer. Let cook, crushing the tomatoes with the back of a spoon as they soften, until the sauce comes together, about 10 minutes. Season with the chile flakes, salt, if using, and pepper, bearing in mind the cheese will add quite a lot of saltiness to the dish. Keep the sauce warm over low heat.

Cook the pasta al dente according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta well, reserving 1/4 cup pasta cooking water. Add the pasta and the reserved liquid to the sauce and return the skillet to medium heat. Toss the pasta gently until it’s well coated and heated through, about 5 minutes. Fold in the cheese.

Serve the pasta hot and pass plenty of additional cheese on the side.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

The One

I could eat this bucatini all’Amatriciana recipe everyday, thanks to my Italian heritage. I loved the contrast in this sauce between the sweet, fresh flavor of the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar with just the right amount of heat from the pepper flakes. I wouldn’t call this spicy, I’d call it delicious. I asked David to make this a definite keeper. We paired it with a lovely 2009 Chianti Classico.

Kate H. Knapp

Oh my goodness gracious. Oh me, oh my. This bucatini all’Amatriciana is ridiculously delicious. One taste and I was completely twitterpated and tongue-tied—and not only because I can't pronounce the name of it. It really was love at first bite. The sauce is really simple to make and so freakishly good thanks to the addition of bacon, balsamic vinegar, white wine, and red chili flakes. I accidentally purchased crushed tomatoes vs. whole, and the sauce was still amazing. (Just imagine what it tastes like with whole tomatoes!) My only complaint was that I didn't know about this recipe sooner, because I've wasted so many pasta meals on bland sauces.

This dish is definitely a keeper and already has a place in my family cookbook. It's one of those recipes you just know you will crave and will have to make time and again. A few notes: As mentioned above, I purchased the wrong tomatoes and was too far into the recipe before I realized. The crushed tomatoes actually worked really well, though I can see how the whole tomatoes would give a bit more texture. I couldn't find bucatini in the grocery store, so I used spaghetti. This is one of the only times I have really liked spaghetti, but I think bucatini would be outstanding in this dish. The serving size was spot on for 4 people (though I could have eaten it all by my lonesome). Timing was right at about an hour, though I think you could make it a bit quicker by making your pasta after you add the tomatoes to the skillet, though it wouldn't save a great deal of time and I'm sure it doesn't hurt to let the flavors in the sauce meld. Though I could taste the red chili flakes, they weren't terribly spicy to me. I actually thought it was the perfect amount of heat. Other people with a bit more spice sensitivity might disagree, so I think this could be either optional or to taste.

Linda Pacchiano

This bucatini all’Amatriciana recipe is a classic Italian dish from the town of Amatrice, located in the Lazio region about a 2-hour drive from Rome. This dish is classically made with guanciale or pancetta, but it works great with thick-cut bacon, as specified in this recipe. The sauce has a richness, a touch of sweetness from the balsamic vinegar and the tomatoes (assuming you use good canned tomatoes such as D.O.P. San Marzanos), and is quite rustic in appearance, belying the simplicity of its preparation. The recipe works fine as written. The only change I would make would be to eliminate the tablespoon of olive oil for cooking the bacon. There will be quite a bit of fat rendered from the bacon and you will have plenty of oil in the pan. If you want to add a little oil to get the bacon started, a teaspoon, at most, would be fine, but a whole tablespoon is going to make the sauce unnecessarily oily and I would rather use the bacon fat, which will impart more smokiness and depth of flavor than the oil. Also, be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan after you add the wine to get all of the flavorful browned bits into the sauce.

M.K. Morgan

Yes, a quick, easy, and tasty dish! And ingredients that are always in my kitchen, so it came together even more quickly than 35 minutes. Next time, I'll crush the tomatoes in my hand before putting them in the sauce. You may want to adjust the amount of chili flakes I used 1/2 teaspoon and that amount was fine for spicy-loving me, but too much for my bland-loving husband.

Alexandra M.

Hey, this bucatini all’Amatriciana recipe was fabulous! When I feel like a simple, no-frills pasta dinner, this is what I'll be making. This is so straightforward and satisfying that it's now on my list of go-to, fail-proof recipes. I think what made this sauce so satisfying was the interplay of subtle sweetness and spice. The balsamic added a piquant fruitiness, while the garlic and red pepper flakes made it dance with just enough heat. It's worth noting that this recipe makes a lot of pasta—I'd say it serves 6, maybe even more, depending on one's appetite.

Kim Graham

I loved this bucatini all’Amatriciana recipe not only for the wonderful flavors it produced and the quick and easy preparation, but also for the fact that most of the ingredients are items that are regularly available in my kitchen. This means, for me, that we will enjoy it many times in the future. I found that my bacon and onions and garlic cooked a tiny bit faster than the recipe stated, so perhaps my stove was a little higher than the recipe intended, but since there are great visual clues to doneness mentioned in the recipe's instructions, it was not a problem at all. The finished sauce had a sweetness to it that was at first surprising, but went very well with the small amount of heat from the crushed red pepper. The leftovers were also excellent, as the pasta continued to soak up the sauce and became even more flavorful, if that's possible.

Sarah Heend

This bucatini was one of the best pasta dishes I've made in a long time. The smoky bacon, sweet but slightly acidic tomatoes, and nutty cheese all combined with the kick of red pepper flakes to really add something special to our dinner plates. This is going in the regular dinner rotation. I can’t wait to try it with garden tomatoes in the summer. As an added benefit, the leftovers were delicious and reheated beautifully. This would only serve 4 in the strange world of restaurant portion sizes, but we easily got 8 large servings from the recipe. (Granted, we aren’t large eaters, but we aren’t light eaters, either.) I'm the only balsamic vinegar fan in the house, so I waited to add my vinegar at the table. I thought it added the hint of acidity that the dish needed. The other members of the family were happy to have theirs without the balsamic and didn’t think anything was missing. A couple notes: I used unsalted canned tomatoes and only used 1/4 teaspoon salt, which was plenty with the salt from the bacon and the cheese. My bacon took almost 30 minutes to fully crisp, seriously delaying dinner. I should have known better than to go by the six-minute cooking time for the bacon, since my bacon always takes much longer than that to cook. I'm not used to particularly thick-cut bacon. I wish I'd reserved some of the crisp bacon to sprinkle on top of the pasta at the table for some crunch. Next time. And there will be a next time. My husband remarked that he would cook extra bacon to serve on top, but I think that might be overkill. He still disagrees.

Anna Scott

This bucatini all’Amatriciana recipe is a prime example of why I love cooking traditional Italian food. A simple recipe, quality ingredients, and a unique combination of flavors all come together for an amazingly delectable dish. Bucatini is one of my favorite pasta shapes of all time--thick spaghetti-like noodles that hold sauce very well thanks to the hole all the way through each pasta strand. IT works so well with a hearty sauce like this one, and also with a Bolognese or thick homemade pesto. But I digress. I'd just purchased a pound of bucatini, and as I was reading the recipes we could test for this session, there it was, Bucatini all’Amatriciana. I'd eaten this dish in Italy and wanted to make it myself. Perfect timing! Simply a hearty tomato sauce with garlic, onion, and bacon. This recipe took no time at all, and I really liked the addition of white wine instead of red, and the addition of balsamic vinegar for that tiny bit of tang. The crushed red pepper and cheese go a long way with flavor as well I had shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano in the house, so I used that instead of Pecorino. My only comment on the recipe itself is that it doesn't take a total of 1 hour to make even with the chopping I would say the whole process only takes about 35-40 minutes. This is a classic Italian dish that is so flavorful and totally unforgettable!

Linda M.

Bucatini all’Amatriciana is one of my husband's favorite pasta dishes so I had to give it a try. This recipe didn't disappoint. It was very easy and straightforward. I used some thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, a sweet onion, and San Marzano tomatoes in the sauce. The addition of balsamic vinegar gave a slightly sweet tang to the finished sauce. Definitely use bucatini pasta, as it has a nice heft that holds onto the sauce.

Shannon Parrish

This bucatini all’Amatriciana dish is amazing, and I wouldn’t change a thing! I'm impressed that so few ingredients can come together to create such incredible depth. This dish was loved by both adults and kids alike. The standout flavors were the balsamic vinegar and the bacon (how can any dish go wrong with bacon?). I’ve never enhanced tomato sauce with balsamic, and it was brilliant! One of the best things about this dish—aside from its amazing flavor—is how simple it is to make. The whole dish came together in less than 30 minutes, which is a blessing when you have 2 young kids. I will make this dish again and again and again.

Sandy Hill

This bucatini all'Amatriciana was a comforting weeknight pasta. The recipe was straightforward and fast to assemble since the sauce can simmer while the pasta cooks. The bacon, onions, and garlic melted into the tomatoes, making a rustic and delicious sauce. I put in a full teaspoon red chili flakes because we like that spicy kick. The bucatini was chewy and soaked up the quick and simple sauce. I did use the reserved liquid from the pasta cooking water as described. Plates of irresistible pasta with lots of cheese, a loaf of bread, and red wine is heaven in our house!

Gene C.

This recipe belongs in everyone's rotation. As an Italian who loves pasta and sauces, I can say this is the easiest and most impressive pan sauce you can make, and no special ingredients required. There are many regional variations in Italian cooking. The use of bacon in this one is not quite traditional but puts it over the top for me. You can sub jowl bacon or pancetta if needed, but try to get very thick-sliced bacon if you can. A tablespoon oil is plenty if you're using bacon because you'll render some of the fat. I drained about 1/2 the bacon fat after cooking bacon the bacon (but kept the rest for flavor). I also used San Marzano tomatoes, as that's what I always use and what I had on hand. They're much sweeter and less acidic than other tomatoes. They also have a much thicker puree. I omitted the salt because it wasn't needed with the cheese. I also didn't need the extra cooking water. I had to use spaghetti, as that's all I could get, but this sauce will work with whatever pasta you have. Adjust the red pepper flakes to taste, starting with 1/4 teaspoon. This dish is very well balanced and not acidic at all. If you are looking for restaurant quality, then this is it. This recipe will make you the hero in the kitchen for sure. It's now in my weeknight dinner rotation.

Ayanna Fews

I love when simple ingredients come together to make an amazing dish. With this recipe, you can have a fancy dinner in no time, yet look like you've been cooking for hours! The ingredients are things that you generally have readily available in the pantry and refrigerator. I like trying new pasta shapes, and it was my first time trying bucatini. I liked the thickness of the noodles, which really allowed this great sauce to nicely coat the pasta. The mix of flavors and the addition of the balsamic vinegar (which I love!) made for a very rich-tasting sauce. Plus, bacon (and wine) makes everything better, so basically, this is an amazing combination. With that said, I think it's important to cook the bacon well so that you render a good amount of the fat from the bacon and all that bacon-y goodness gets into the sauce. I've made this a couple times since initially testing the recipe and can't wait to make it again!

Beth Price

This dish was a wonderful weeknight surprise. It cooked up quickly and the lovely cheese, bacon, and chili flakes melded together for such a savory sauce. I used jowl bacon and found it to be perfect for this dish. I highly recommend using good-quality, San Marzano tomatoes.

Bette Fraser

This bucatini all’Amatriciana recipe is a classic pasta recipe that you should have in your back pocket for everyday meals as well as for when surprise guests pops by for dinner. The ingredient list is short, and your pantry and fridge should usually hold what you need to pull this delicious and satisfying meal together in about half an hour. I had a bit of prosciutto left over, so I added that as well (pancetta would be great here, too) and puréed the mixture just a bit before serving. The result was deeply flavorful and warming. I would have enjoyed a bit more spice from a whole chile, but my husband was very happy with the flavor of the chili flakes. I had spaghetti on hand, but I'm sure that bucatini would be even more delicious to capture all the sauce. Be sure to add a splash of pasta water to the sauce. It will make a difference! Check out how to pronounce this recipe—no point in making something you can't pronounce.

Natalie Reebel

This bucatini all’Amatriciana recipe is absolutely perfect for a family weeknight dinner, a Sunday supper, when company shows up, or pretty much anytime. As the sauce cooks, it fills the house with an inviting and heavenly aroma. This dish is rich, filling, warm, yet not too heavy. While red wine is often added to tomato-based sauces, the white wine really lifts and brightens the flavor of the sauce. The cooking time for the bacon was perfect, although my wine reduced in about 30 seconds. Everything else went as written. The bucatini was texturally perfect, and the sauce had just the right amount of heat without being too spicy. This one is already a family favorite.

Susan Bingaman

If I could, I’d serve pasta with some sort of tomato-y sauce once or twice a week. These types of recipes generally use stuff I’ve already got in the pantry and are easy enough for busy weeknights. But I got a little out of control, so I took a hiatus from pasta with tomato-y sauces…until this bucatini all’Amatriciana recipe. Two bites in, my husband told me he’d be happy to have it again. Then he said it had a nice amount of heat. Then he said he wanted seconds. Weekly pasta night is back! I did make a tiny change to this recipe, and it’s a bit odd. I made this during the height of cold and flu season when we had terribly sore throats. So I puréed the sauce. We just had to get past the mind games a smooth sauce plays on a person. (Why should this seemingly plain sauce have smoky, bacon-y flavors? Richness from balsamic vinegar?) It doesn’t matter. It was delicious. After I tossed the sauce and pasta, I did need to add about 1/2 cup cooking water to keep it loose, but that was no big deal.

Trudy Ngo-Brown

This bucatini all’Amatriciana recipe was an easy dinner to pull together during the week, and even my husband, who is not a big pasta eater, enjoyed this. I ended up having to substitute crushed tomatoes for the whole ones, but I don't think it affected the overall results. The chili flakes could be omitted for young children and those sensitive to spice, but I took my chances with my toddler and she was okay. I was also very happy with my choice of using the black pepper-coated bacon from the butcher in this recipe. Will definitely make it again!

Kim Venglar

I loved everything about this bucatini all’Amatriciana recipe. Its simplicity makes it a quick meal to get on the table in a short amount of time. I love the thickness and texture of the bucatini, but some thought it would be better with a thinner pasta. The flavors of the sauce are just right. This goes great with some garlic cheese bread.

Sita Krishnaswamy

This sauce was a cinch to make and was an easy, delicious, weeknight dish. I made it early in the day and warmed it through just before serving it with homemade spaghetti. The addition of bacon gives it extra depth of flavor. However, I did drain some of the bacon fat before adding the other ingredients.

Tamiko Lagerwaard

I did a double take when I read this bucatini all’Amatriciana recipe and then checked again when I saw 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar in the ingredient list. It's unusual in this traditional sauce, but it worked very well. Between the salty richness of the bacon and cheese and the sweetness and acidity of the wine and vinegar, this is a balanced and flavorful sauce. I did make two small substitutions—I used rice spaghetti (as bucatini isn't an easy gluten-free find) and I used Parmesan instead of Romano (as this is a family preference). I do think this would really benefit from the brightness of some freshly chopped parsley, but that is the only thing I would change. This will become a weeknight winner for our family!

Melissa Maedgen

Here's an easy yet flavorful pasta sauce that you can pull together from mostly pantry ingredients. The recipe works as written, although you might take a tad more time with the sautéing and the final simmer. It's flavorful and great over the bucatini. The vinegar was an interesting touch. I was a bit skeptical about it, since most people like, if anything, to sweeten their tomato sauce. But it really did work, adding a rich tang that complemented the tomato. Give it a try!

You can get gluten-free bucatini made from Bi-Aglut. This brand is not usually available in stores, but can be ordered online from

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


Made it without the bacon and added ground turkey, definitely upped the wine measurement too. It was delicious.

Thanks, Isabel. We’re so glad you were able to make it in a way that was perfect for you.