Cherry Tomato Spaghetti all’Amatriciana

Pancetta and lots of red pepper flakes spice up this quick version of a classic Roman dish.


  • Salt
  • 1 pound regular or thick spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/4 pound chunk pancetta, cut into small pieces
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • 2 pints small cherry tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped (a couple of generous handfuls)
  • Pepper
  • 1 cup basil leaves, torn or chopped
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a couple of generous handfuls)


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook to al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat the EVOO, three turns of the pan, over medium to medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until crisp, 3-4 minutes. Add the red onion, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook until softened, 3-4 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook for 1 minute, then add the tomatoes, parsley and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Cook until the tomatoes burst, 8-10 minutes.

Stir in the reserved pasta cooking water and then the pasta, tossing to coat. Turn off the heat, add the basil and cheese and serve.

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