Pasta all’Amatriciana

This pasta dish has a velvety spicy sauce, and the guanciale gives it a lovely pork flavor! It is easy to make and your guests will be impressed!

Photo by Allison of Culinary Cupcake

This dish is named after the town of Amatrice in Italy. Amatrice is in the mountainous region in Province of Rieti of Lazio, it is about 87 miles (141 kilometres) from Rome. Sugo all’Amatriciana is a pasta sauce that includes tomato, guanciale (cured pork cheek), pecorino cheese, and sometimes onion. The all’Amatriciana dish became very famous in Rome during the 19th and 20th centuries. It is still well known all throughout Italy.

Years ago I took a class on how to make pasta. After we had rolled out the fresh pasta the instructor told us we were going to make a simple dish out of them; Pasta all’Amatriciana. We chopped pancetta, garlic, and red onion. After frying these ingredients we enveloped them in the tomato sauce we had made earlier. Then our beautiful handmade pasta and freshly grated cheese were engulfed in the all’Amatriciana sauce. When I got to taste what I had made I was in love. All these simple ingredients had made something that tasted so complex and wonderful. Now I want to share that beauty with you. Please enjoy this recipe!

Pasta all’Amatriciana Recipe

Yields 2 to 3 servings

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 16 minutes

Wine Pairing Suggestion: Pinot Grigio or Chianti

Beer Pairing Suggestion: Lager


1/2 pound bucatini or spaghetti pasta

1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

2 ounces guanciale, pancetta, or thick bacon, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 cup tomato sauce

1/4 cup Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese

Garnish: Basil leaves


Boil pasta to al dente directions.

Heat a 10 inch saute pan to medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion and cook for 4 minutes.

Add the guanciale to the onion and continue to cook for 4 more minutes, until lightly browned.

Throw in the garlic and red pepper flakes to the pan and stir for about 30 seconds.

Pour in the tomato sauce and stir everything together. Lower the pan to a simmer and simmer the sauce for 6 minutes.

Toss the cooked pasta and the cheese in the sauce for 1 minute.

Serve hot.

Garnish with basil and more cheese if desired.

Slurp up any extra sauce with some focaccia bread!

Want this dish to be vegetarian? Omit the guanciale.


Tag @culinary_cupcake when you upload your photo on Instagram and hashtag #culinary_cupcake


2 thoughts on “Pasta all’Amatriciana

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: