Bucatini all’Amatriciana

To me, there is nothing better than a super flavorful pasta dish that comes together quickly. I live for them actually on busy weeknights. So this week I went to one of my favorite Italian classics. Bucatini all’Amatriciana sounds fancy but it is really simple and so good. My Nana Lulu made it for me when I was growing up, so it was also so fun to carry it on in my own house! I thought of her the whole time.

The base for the sauce of bucatini all’Amatriciana is traditionally guanciale. It turned out that guanciale is not readily available at all around here, so I decided to substitute pancetta. When the fat rendered out the whole sauce took on that gorgeous flavor!
I love bucatini. It’s the thickest of the long pastas and it really stands up to rich sauces. I boiled a pound of bucatini while the sauce cooked, which took about 9 minutes. Before I drained it I reserved 1/4 cup of the starchy, salty cooking water. It’s the oldest and most delicious trick in the book! The water went into the sauce to loosen it up and add even more flavor.
I tossed the cooked pasta with the sauce. That let the pasta really absorb the flavors of the sauce! Then to really bring it together I kept stirring while I poured in lots of freshly grated cheese. It emulsified the sauce gorgeously to give it a richer texture. I just served the bucatini all’Amatriciana immediately with a little extra fresh parsley for garnish!

Oh my goodness, when I dug in I was one happy woman. The sauce was so flavorful from the pancetta and the pasta was perfectly tender. The cheese gave the bucatini all’Amatriciana an amazing, creamy texture too. Best of all, I was transported to Italy in just 30 minutes! I think my Nana Lulu would have loved this version of her recipe and I hope you all do too. xoxo

Bucatini all'Amatriciana
Bucatini all’Amatriciana
5 from 1 vote
Bucatini all'Amatriciana
Bucatini all'Amatriciana
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins

Bucatini all'Amatriciana is such an incredible and flavorful Italian classic! This version is simple and comes together in 30 minutes. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Buccatini all'Amatriciana, Pasta
Servings: 6
Calories: 464 kcal
Author: Jeanie and Lulu's Kitchen
  • 1 dash olive oil
  • 12 ounces pancetta diced small
  • 1 whole small onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup curly parsley coarsely chopped
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons red wine
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes 28 ounce size
  • 1 pound bucatini pasta
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
  1. First, get a large pot of water on the stove and bring it up to a boil. While the water heats up, start on the sauce. Combine the olive oil, pancetta, onion and half of the parsley in a large skillet with deep sides. Heat the pan over medium high heat. Let the fat from the pancetta render out and everything cook completely for 7-8 minutes. The pancetta should become crisp and the onions should caramelize slightly. While the mixture cooks season it with the salt, garlic powder and crushed red pepper. Then add in the tomato paste and red wine. Let them cook off for a minute or two while you stir it together and scrape up the brown bits.
  2. Finally, add in the crushed tomatoes. Let the sauce come to a gentle boil and reduce it to a simmer. The sauce needs to simmer for 3-4 minutes for the flavors to meld. Meanwhile, start cooking the pasta. Salt the boiling water generously and pour the pasta in. Since it is thicker than other long pastas, it takes about 9 minutes. Before you drain it, reserve 1/4 cup of the salty, starchy cooking water and pour it into the sauce to loosen it up. Then add the drained pasta to the sauce and toss it all together well. Take the pan off of the heat and keep stirring the pasta while you pour in the two cheeses. It will melt right in and emulsify into the sauce. Serve immediately with the remaining parsley garnished on top!
Nutrition Facts
Bucatini all'Amatriciana
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 464 Calories from Fat 158
% Daily Value*
Fat 17.5g27%
Saturated Fat 6.3g39%
Cholesterol 47mg16%
Sodium 747mg32%
Potassium 163mg5%
Carbohydrates 57.3g19%
Fiber 4.6g19%
Sugar 5.7g6%
Protein 21.2g42%
Calcium 90mg9%
Iron 1.6mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Bucatini all'Amatriciana
Bucatini all’Amatriciana


2 thoughts on “Bucatini all’Amatriciana”

  1. What a delicious looking dish Leigh!
    I have cooked with bucatini pasta before, but would you believe me if I told you I never cooked with pancetta?!
    Where have I been!! Pancetta is everywhere and I never cooked with it, sheesh!!
    This recipe is easy enough and basic enough for me to start cooking with pancetta.
    Thinking of making it with a nice salad on the side and some cheesy garlic bread, what do you think?
    Happy Sunday Leigh!

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