Pasta amatriciana
  • 25 mins

  • Easy

  • 2 serves



180g PASTA (=6,35oz)

100g GUANCIALE (=3,53oz=¾ cup)

150g homemade TOMATO SAUCE (=5,29oz=⅔ cup)

25g PDO PARMIGIANO REGGIANO (=0,88oz=¼ cup)


45g DRY WHITE WINE (=1,59oz)

15g WATER (=0,53oz)

TABLE SALT to taste

(COARSE SALT to taste)


Put a pot with water on the stove at high flame.

In the meantime, remove the rind from the guanciale and then cut it into strips.

Cook guanciale at medium-low heat in a pan, adding water as soon as it warms up. Keep stirring and when the fat starts to turn transparent add chili pepper (you can keep it whole or cut it into 2-3 pieces). When the fat has completely melted, add the dry white wine and increase the heat to let it evaporate. When the guanciale has browned, remove it from the pan, leaving its melted fat in. Get rid of chili pepper.

Pour tomato sauce in the pan with the leftover fat, add little table salt and cook at low heat for about 10 minutes.

In the meantime, cook the pasta. My favorite pasta shape for amatriciana sauce is bucatini (a kind of large spaghetti with a hole in the middle), but you can always opt for a different pasta shape.

When water boils, add coarse salt. As it comes to boil again, toss the pasta. 

Drain the pasta 1 minute before the time suggested on the packaging and pour it in the saucepan together with guanciale strips. Let pasta cook in the sauce for 1 minute, then turn the flame off and serve.

Sprinkle with freshly grated cheese: I can’t avoid using PDO Parmigiano Reggiano, but the original recipe would require PDO Pecorino Romano (a local pecorino would be even better).

Many recipes say that you should brown guanciale in extra-virgin olive oil, but I feel it’s not necessary as its fat melts easily and it will do the job. Moreover, the best would be to use fresh tomatoes but this is not possible in winter! By the way, in summer you would wash and peel the tomatoes, dice them and cook them for about 50 minutes. I’ve used a tomato sauce I’ve made myself, but you would usually use canned tomatoes.

Amatriciana comes from the little village of Amatrice, destroyed by an earthquake in 2016. I cannot stop thinking about what happened, bite after bite. This is my homage to its inhabitants.

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