Bucatini All’amatriciana

Bucatini with Amatriciana Sauce


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

From the little town of Amatrice, in Lazio, comes this classic sauce. It has many fans, and is one of those recipes that cause a great deal of argument and discussion among aficionados: Should the bacon be pancetta or guanciale? Is it right to use both onion and garlic? Should it not be one or the other? How much chilli, and what kind of chilli, makes this sauce just right? There are no clear answers to these questions, and the sauce remains one of those that can be tinkered with until it is exactly as you like it.


  • 45 ml/3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 300 g/11 oz pancetta, cubed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½-2 dried red chillies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 400 g/14 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 400 g/14 oz bucatini or other chunky dried durum-wheat pasta
  • 75 g/3 oz/1 cup freshly grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese
  • sea salt and ground black pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the cubed pancetta until the fat is transparent and running freely.

  2. Add the onion, garlic and chillies to the pan and fry together gently until the onion is translucent and soft. Add the tomatoes.
  3. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently until the sauce is nice and thick and glossy.

  4. Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and stir. Return to the boil and cook the pasta according to the pack instructions until al dente.
  5. Drain the pasta thoroughly and return to the pan, then pour in the sauce and mix together.

  6. Serve sprinkled with the cheese and a little black pepper.