Recipe Index

Italian | Spaghetti all'Amatriciana

Posted on June 11, 2012

I've seen this on menus but never ordered it. I was looking for a new pasta to make and decided to try it. I am so glad that I did! I loved it! I used six ounces of pancetta rather than four, since the package came that way, plus I like pancetta. I did mop out some of the extra fat before adding the tomato paste though. It's bolder than regular tomato sauce pastas, the onions melt into the sauce creating a sweetness, the pancetta and cheese provide saltiness, and the red pepper flakes give it a bit of heat.

Yield: 6 servings

Spaghetti all'Amatriciana


kosher salt

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 ounces sliced guanciale or pancetta, or good American bacon, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips

1 medium red onion, halved lengthwise, ends trimmed, and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide slices

1/4 cup tomato paste

1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons hot red pepper flakes

3/4 cup Pomi strained tomatoes, simmered until reduced by half

1 pound spaghetti

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for serving

1/2 cup grated pecorino romano

1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley



Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add 3 tablespoons kosher salt.

Meanwhile, combine the oil, guanciale, and onion in another large pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the guanciale is lightly browned and the onion is softened, about 7 minutes. (This took longer for me. I waited until I liked where the pancetta and onion were before continuing.) Stir in the tomato paste and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomato sauce and remove from the heat.

Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook until just al dente. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

Add the pasta and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to the guanciale and stir and toss over medium heat until the pasta is well coated. Add a splash or two more of the reserved pasta water if necessary to loosen the sauce. Stir in the cheeses and parsley and serve immediately, with additional grated Parmigiano on the side.


(Ref. "Spaghetti all'Amatriciana" recipe, Molto Gusto.)