Bucatini all’Amatriciana

This classic, zesty pancetta and tomato sauce is commonly associated with Lazio and Rome, but is actually from the town of Amatrice. Pancetta is Italian rolled, cured pork, similar to bacon, but not smoked. Bacon may be substituted in this recipe, which will result in a smoky tomato sauce.


  • 1 pound bucatini (tube pasta that looks like spaghetti with a hole down the center of it)
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/4 pound pancetta (4-5 slices), chopped, or substitute bacon for a smokier flavor
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano or Romano cheese, to pass at the table


Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt the water.

Heat a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add EVOO and pancetta. Cook pancetta 2-3 minutes, then add onions, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook 7-8 minutes more, until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes and parsley, and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Simmer sauce over low heat until ready to serve.

Cook bucatini pasta to al dente (with a bite to it). Drain pasta well; do not rinse, as starchy pasta holds more sauce.

Toss hot pasta with sauce and serve. Pass grated cheese at the table to top pasta.

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