Rigatoni Amatriciana


Amatriciana sauce typically calls for cured pork, traditionally guanciale. Here, we've substituted fatty pancetta for easier sourcing. It comes together with tomatoes, pecorino Romano cheese, sweet onion, and crushed red pepper to make a rich, jammy, pleasantly spicy sauce. Finishing the pasta in the sauce, along with a splash of starchy cooking water and nutty shredded cheese, helps the sauce thicken and emulsify, while infusing each bite of pasta with rich flavor. This is a deeply flavorful dinner that can be made in under an hour, making it a perfect weeknight recipe. The recipe is inspired by sommelier Arjav Ezekiel, co-owner of Birdie's in Austin, who loves to pair the rich pasta with a Nero d'Avola from Martha Stoumen. "It is delightful, especially with a good chill, which brings out the bright fruit and smoked tomato on the nose, making it an ideal pairing with zingy and rich amatriciana," he says.

Rigatoni Amatriciana
Photo: Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Thom Driver
Total Time:
55 mins


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium-size (9-ounce) yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 1 (4-ounce) package chopped pancetta

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 pound uncooked rigatoni pasta

  • 1 ½ ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely shredded (about 2/3 cup), plus more for serving

  • ¾ ounces pecorino Romano cheese, finely shredded (about 1/4 cup), plus more for serving

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • Finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish


  1. Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high. Add onion, and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in pancetta; cook, stirring often, until pancetta begins to render, about 5 minutes. Stir in crushed red pepper. Using your hands or a wooden spoon, crush tomatoes; add tomatoes and their juices to skillet. Bring to a boil over medium-high; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring often, until flavors meld and mixture thickens, about 20 minutes. Stir in salt. Remove from heat.

  2. While sauce cooks, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high. Add rigatoni, and cook according to package instructions for al dente, about 13 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

  3. Add rigatoni, reserved 1/2 cup cooking liquid, Parmigiano-Reggiano, pecorino Romano, and butter to sauce in skillet. Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens and coats pasta, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and garnish with parsley. Serve with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano and pecorino Romano cheeses.

Suggested Pairing

Martha Stoumen Nero d'Avola

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