Spaghetti Amatriciana


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes



Appears in

The Weeknight Cook

The Weeknight Cook

By Brigit Binns

Published 2012

  • About


  • Olive oil, 2 tablespoons
  • Pancetta or thick-cut bacon, 3 oz (90 g), chopped
  • Yellow onion, 1 small, finely chopped
  • Red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon
  • Dry white wine, ½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml)
  • Tomato paste, 2 tablespoons
  • Canned whole plum (Roma) tomatoes, cups (20 fl oz/625 ml), chopped, with juice
  • Salt
  • Spaghetti, 1 lb (500 g)
  • Pecorino romano or Parmesan cheese, ½ cup (2 oz/60 g) freshly grated


  • Make the sauce

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In a large frying pan over medium-low heat, warm the oil. Add the pancetta, onion, and red pepper flakes and sauté until the onion is softened and the pancetta is lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Stir in the wine and tomato paste. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the wine evaporates slightly, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and ½ teaspoon salt.

    Raise the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 20 minutes.

  • Cook the pasta

    Meanwhile, add 2 tablespoons salt and the pasta to the boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until al dente, according to the package directions. Drain, reserving about ½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) of the cooking water. Add the drained pasta to the sauce and toss to combine. Sprinkle with one-third of the cheese and toss again. Add as much of the cooking water as needed to achieve a nice sauce consistency. Serve, passing the remaining cheese at the table.