Bucatini all'Amatriciana

This dish originated in a hill town outside Rome called Amatrice. Authentic bucatini all'amatriciana is made with chewy bucatini pasta (a type of thicker, hollow spaghetti), tossed with a rich sauce made from tomatoes, caramelized onion, dried chile pepper, and plenty of deeply savory cured guanciale. The result is one of the most savory bowls of pasta to ever come out of Italy. Plus:  Pasta Recipes and Tips 

Bucatini all'Amatriciana
Photo: © Simon Watson
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
45 mins


  • Two 35-ounce cans peeled Italian plum tomatoes

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 2 small dried red chiles, stemmed and coarsely chopped

  • 6 ounces guanciale or pancetta, sliced 1/4 inch thick and cut into thin strips

  • Salt

  • 2 1/2 pounds bucatini or perciatelli pasta

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino cheese, plus more for passing


  1. Working over a bowl, crush the tomatoes with your hands; reserve the juices.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and chiles and cook over low heat until the onion is softened, about 10 minutes. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pancetta is lightly colored, about 10 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and their juices and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring often, until the sauce is thick, about 40 minutes. Season with salt.

  3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the bucatini, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the sauce and the pecorino and toss well. Transfer the pasta to two large serving bowls and serve hot. Pass additional pecorino at the table.

Suggested Pairing

The ripe fruit of a medium-bodied white, like a Greco di Tufo, will point up the tomato flavors and the saltiness of the sautéed pancetta.

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