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  • Writer's pictureKevin Dam

Discover the Best Amatriciana Pasta Recipe for an Authentic Italian Experience

Dish name: Amatriciana Pasta

  • Cuisine: Italian

  • Preparation time: 30 minutes

  • Yield: Serves 4

  • Expiration: Best if eaten fresh; however, the sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

  • Ingredients:

  • 400 grams of bucatini or spaghetti

  • 150 grams of guanciale (or pancetta), thinly sliced

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)

  • 1 can (400 grams) of peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand

  • 1/2 cup of Pecorino Romano cheese, grated

  • Olive oil

  • Salt to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Reserve some pasta water before draining.

  2. While the pasta is cooking, cut the guanciale into strips and sauté in a pan with a little olive oil until it's lightly golden and crispy. Remove the guanciale and set aside, leaving the rendered fat in the pan.

  3. Add the chopped onion to the pan and cook until translucent.

  4. Add red pepper flakes and cook for another minute.

  5. Stir in the hand-crushed tomatoes and simmer the sauce for about 15 minutes. Season with salt.

  6. Add back the crispy guanciale to the sauce.

  7. Toss the cooked pasta into the pan with the sauce. If needed, add a little pasta water to help the sauce coat the pasta.

  8. Sprinkle with grated Pecorino Romano cheese and serve immediately.

Tips and Tricks for Amatriciana Pasta:

  1. Ingredient Importance: Use guanciale if you can find it for an authentic flavor; pancetta is a solid substitute but has a different taste and fat content.

  2. Tomato Quality: Good quality canned tomatoes can make or break the sauce. San Marzano tomatoes are often recommended for their sweet flavor and low acidity.

  3. Cheese Choice: Traditionally, Amatriciana is served with Pecorino Romano, a sheep's milk cheese that is saltier and more flavorful than Parmesan.

  4. To Peel or Not: If you prefer a smoother sauce, you can peel the tomatoes after crushing them.

  5. Render the Fat: Cook the guanciale slowly to render out as much fat as possible without burning it, as this is where a lot of the flavor comes from.

  6. Moderate the Spice: Adjust the amount of red pepper flakes to your liking for heat. Start with less, as you can always add more.

  7. Sauce Consistency: Don't over-thicken the sauce—it should be more on the liquid side to properly coat the pasta.

  8. Reserved Pasta Water: Use the starchy pasta water to adjust the thickness of the sauce and to help it adhere to the pasta.

  9. Combine Carefully: To ensure that the pasta is evenly coated with the sauce, combine them with the heat off, adding pasta water if necessary.

  10. Serving: Serve the pasta hot, straight out of the pan, and sprinkle with extra cheese for an additional flavor.


Enjoy your delicious and aromatic plate of Amatriciana pasta!

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