Pasta Amatriciana made with pancetta, tomatoes, Romano cheese, crushed peppers and onions. It will be a family favorite!
Ryan and I have been fortunate enough to go to Italy twice in our lives. The trips were a dream. During those two trips we visited Rome, Venice, Florence, the Amalfi Coast, Milan, Lake Como and Siena. The country, the sights and the people were wonderful. The food and wine were fantastic. I still find myself thinking about some of the meals we had there. I consider the meal that I had at Il Buco Ristorante in Sorrento to be among one of the best meals I have ever had. Ever.
Whether we were eating stuffed zucchini blossoms, linguine aglio olio or gelato, everything was unbelievably delicious. My favorite meals were always the ones that were simple. Meals that tasted like home cooking. Pasta Amatriciana is a perfect example of that.
Pasta all’amatriciana is a traditional Italian dish with guanciale, tomatoes and romano cheese. It is a typical Roman dish but originated from the town of Amatrice.
Let’s talk about everything you’ll need to make it:
Pasta Amatriciana comes together in under 30 minutes. You’ll want to make the sauce while you cook the pasta. Everything should be done shortly after the pasta is done.
STEP #1: Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions.
STEP #2: Meanwhile, in a large pan cook guanciale until it starts to brown and render the fat.
STEP #3: Transfer the guanciale to paper-towel lined plate and set aside. Reserve the fat. Add onions, garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook just until onions start to soften, 3 – 5 minutes.
STEP #4: Add tomatoes, salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes, the sauce will thicken a bit during this time.
STEP #5: Return the guanciale to the sauce and add in pasta. Toss to coat the pasta in the sauce. Sprinkle with pecorino Romano and toss once more. Serve immediately with more Romano and crushed red peppers, if desired.
This pasta reheats beautifully! Store leftovers in the refrigerator and eat within 3 days.
Guanciale is an Italian cured meat made with pork jowl or cheeks. It differs from pancetta because pancetta comes from the belly.
Both are spicy tomato based sauces but amatriciana is made with guanciale while arribiata is not.
Looking for more pasta recipes? Here are some of my most popular:
Capellini Pomodoro is an Olive Garden Copycat. It’s a classic!
Lemon Caper Pasta is a must make for spring and summer!
Shrimp Linguine with Zucchini and Tomatoes is my absolute favorite pasta. I’m sure you’re going to love it too!
Note: Originally published in 2009. Updated in 2023 with new photos, nutrition information and a slightly modified recipe.