Bucatini all’Amatriciana

How to make Bucatini all’Amatriciana


2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

4 oz. thinly sliced guanciale, pancetta, or chopped unsmoked bacon

½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

¾ cup minced onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 28-oz. can peeled tomatoes with juices, crushed by hand

Kosher salt

12 oz. dried bucatini or spaghetti

¼ cup finely grated Pecorino (about 1 oz.)


Step 1

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large heavy skillet over medium heat.

Add guanciale and sauté until crisp and golden, about 4 minutes.

Add pepper flakes and black pepper; stir for 10 seconds.

Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, until soft, about 8 minutes.

Add tomatoes, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, 15-20 minutes.

Step 2

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Season with salt; add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until 2 minutes before al dente.

Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking water.

Step 3

Add drained pasta to sauce in skillet and toss vigorously with tongs to coat.

Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water and cook until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes.

(Add a little pasta water if sauce is too dry.)

Stir in cheese and transfer pasta to warmed bowls.

Nutrition Information:


One serving contains: Calories (Kcal) 524.6 %Calories From Fat 25.2 Fat (G) 14.7 Saturated Fat (G) 4.0 Cholesterol (Mg) 14.7 Carbohydrates (G) 75.9 Dietary Fiber (G) 6.0 Total Sugars (G) 7.4 Net Carbs (G) 69.9 Protein (G) 19.4 Sodium (Mg) 757.8

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is guanciale, and can I substitute it with other ingredients?

Guanciale is cured pork cheek.

You can substitute it with pancetta or chopped unsmoked bacon for a similar flavor.

Is there a vegetarian version of Bucatini all’Amatriciana?

Yes, you can omit the guanciale or bacon for a vegetarian version.

Consider adding extra flavor with ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes or olives.

Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes?

Yes, you can use fresh tomatoes, but you may need to adjust the cooking time to allow them to break down and create a sauce.

What’s the difference between bucatini and spaghetti?

Bucatini is a thicker pasta with a hollow center, while spaghetti is a thin, long, and cylindrical pasta.

The choice depends on your preference for texture and thickness.

Can I make this dish with gluten-free pasta?

Absolutely, you can use gluten-free pasta as a substitute.

How do I store leftover Bucatini all’Amatriciana?

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Can I freeze Bucatini all’Amatriciana?

Pasta dishes with sauce may not freeze well as the texture can change, but you can freeze the sauce separately and cook fresh pasta when needed.

What’s the purpose of reserving pasta cooking water?

The starchy pasta water helps create a cohesive sauce by emulsifying with the fats in the dish.

It’s useful for adjusting the consistency of the sauce.

What type of Pecorino should I use?

Use finely grated Pecorino Romano for an authentic flavor, but you can also use Parmesan if Pecorino is unavailable.

Can I add vegetables to this dish for extra nutrition?

Certainly, consider adding sautéed mushrooms, spinach, or cherry tomatoes to enhance the dish with vegetables.

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