Pasta All’Amatriciana

I happened to catch an episode of Everyday Italian the other day and Giada was making a traditional Roman dish called Pasta All’Amatriciana and you know me, I am ALL about the pasta which is why I was amazed that I had never tried this simple pasta dish. After watching the show, I looked at several recipes that had slightly different ingredients but the same basic idea. This recipe is a combination of everything that sounded good. The sauce is a mixture of pancetta, onions, tomatoes, white wine and crushed red peppers. I then tossed in some bucatini pasta and plenty of freshly grated pecorino romano cheese. Delicious no?

For those of you that don’t know, pancetta is basically Italian bacon, but unlike American bacon it is usually not smoked. Smoking does give American bacon a different flavor but pancetta can be hard to find and when you can find it it is often in very thin slices which won’t work for this recipe.  I am fortunate enough to have an Italian deli in town that sells pancetta so I went there and had him cut me a 1/3  pound piece. With that said, if you cannot find pancetta use thick cut bacon.

I also used bucatini pasta for this recipe which is a thick spaghetti like pasta with a hole in the middle ,but that too can be hard to find and expensive so feel free to substitute spaghetti or linguine if you like.

Pasta All’Amatriciana Recipe

Serves 6 Prep Time: Cook Time:


  • 1 pound pasta such as spaghetti, buccatini, or linguine
  • 1/3 pound pancetta or thick cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese



Start the water for your pasta. Cook according to box directions.


Meanwhile, brown pancetta in a large skillet over medium heat, 5-7 minutes. Drain on paper towels, reserve pan drippings.


In the same skillet add the onion and crushed red pepper. Cook until soft, about 3-5 minutes.


Add white wine. Cook 2 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, and salt and pepper. Cook 15 minutes, sauce will reduce slightly. (Note: Pancetta can be salty so taste your sauce before you start adding salt.)


Return pancetta to pan, toss in pasta. Add pecorino romano cheese, toss pasta once more. Serve.



Leave a Comment

  • Reply
    November 18, 2010 at 7:51 am

    My version, coming from Rome:

    – the recipe actually calls for bucatini
    – no white wine, which has no obvious business here;
    – replace onion with four-five cloves of garlic;
    – replace truckload of tomatoes with one big fresh tomato, peeled and seeded
    (to peel, put in boiling water 50 seconds – to seed cut in the middle and crush it in your hand)
    Do try it…
    Serve it with an Italian Frascati white, for instance, a wine of the region, not a Pinot Grigio (from NE Italy…).

  • Reply
    October 4, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    i love this recipe…

  • Reply
    January 27, 2010 at 9:14 am

    My family and I lived for several years, in Rome, where my husband worked. I tried spaghetti all’amatriciana at a restaurant there, and fell in love with it. I’ve been looking for a recipe for it ever since. Last night I tried yours, and it was delicious!! I had to use thick-cut American style bacon, but it still worked just fine, and it was a huge hit at our dinner table. I added chopped Italian parsley on top just before serving, and I heated up some crusty bread to sop up the extra juice. Mmmmmmmm!!!

  • Reply
    April 23, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Thanks Tim!
    You’re welcome Barr! :)
    I hope you enjoy it Debbie!

  • Reply
    April 22, 2009 at 5:38 am

    Looks wonderful. I love all things pasta!! I will have to try this sometime….

  • Reply
    April 22, 2009 at 4:12 am

    Aw Des, this sounds awesome! I’m a huge Giada fan, for more than one reason ;) but I didnt catch this particular show. Thanks for laying it out for us!


  • Reply
    April 22, 2009 at 4:10 am

    Pasta All’Amatriciana is one of my favourites, especially for a quick meal on a weeknight. Yours looks great, by the way!