Compositions for Dining

Pasta Amatriciana

A paying of respect to the victims of the earthquake in central Italy, including the town of Amatrice where this simple dish is said to have originated. Using few ingredients, this rustic dish leans heavily on the seasonings in guanciale and manages to present a wonderful balance of acid, sweet, savory and heat.
The authentic ingredients of bucatini pasta and guanciale (cured pork jowl, a fatty meat candy more addictive than bacon) may be hard to find so Ludwig included substitutes. This should be a drier pasta dish than what Americans expect. Maestro says Americans are saucier.

Satisfying and simple, a pasta for every occasion.
Authored by: Schlemmer
Estimated Cost: $15
Difficulty: Easy
Suggested Beverage: Sangiovese
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Course Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people
Calories 997

Equipment and Supplies

  • 8-quart stockpot
  • tongs
  • Long Spoon wooden or silicone-tipped


  • 8 oz. guanciale, sliced into narrow sticks
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 42 oz. canned crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • ½ cup grated pecorino romano cheese, divided
  • 16 oz. dried bucatini, or spaghetti


  • Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil.
  • Smear some of the guanciale fat around the bottom of a large frying pan, then heat over medium heat.
    8 oz. guanciale
  • Add the remaining guanciale and cook 5 minutes until tender and most fat is rendered out. Remove and reserve.
  • Saute onion and red pepper flakes in rendered fat until onion is translucent.
    1 small yellow onion, 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Add tomatoes and wine, if using, and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
    ¼ cup red wine, 42 oz. canned crushed tomatoes
  • Add pasta to boiling water and cook for one minute less than package directions.
    16 oz. dried bucatini
  • Return guanciale to the frying pan.
  • Add ¼ cup pecorino.
    ½ cup grated pecorino romano cheese
  • Remove pasta from the pot with tongs and transfer to the frying pan. Toss to coat, 1 minute.
  • Serve, sprinkling remaining pecorino on top.
    ½ cup grated pecorino romano cheese


If you can’t find guanciale or make it (it’s not hard), substitute pancetta. If you can’t find either of those, and if your continues existence relies on having pasta amatriciana, I ‘spoze you can substitute bacon.

Private Notes

Have you tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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