Bucatini all’Amatriciana

5 from 3 votes
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Amatriciana is one of the four CLASSIC Roman pastas that is so delicious, but surprisingly easy to make!


Amatriciana – one of my favorite of the 4 Roman pasta dishes and it’s so easy to make! #cjeatsrecipes #guanciale #amatriciana

♬ original sound – Chris Joe

Ingredients for Amatriciana

  • GUANCIALE – Guanciale is an Italian cured meat that is made from pork jowl or cheeks. I usually purchase it from an Italian grocery store (in Los Angeles, I’ve bought this from Bay Cities, Eataly, or A Cut Above). I have not seen this in any of my usual grocery stores (Whole Foods, Ralph’s, etc), so if you don’t have an Italian grocery near you, you can sub with pancetta or bacon. The main difference between guanciale and pancetta or bacon is that guanciale has a more intense flavor and firmer texture.
  • SAN MARZANO TOMATOES – San Marzano tomatoes are famous for their balanced flavors – I love using them because I find that they are perfectly balanced in their sweetness and acidity, with that distinct tomato flavor! I try to always have a can of San Marzano tomatoes in my pantry – I get them from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.
  • PERCORINO – Pecorino cheese is similar to Parmesan cheese but oftentimes at a lower price point. The main difference is that it is made from sheep’s milk and is sharper and saltier. If you don’t have Pecorino on hand, you can sub with Parmesan cheese at a 1:1 ratio. I get all of my cheeses from Costco, as I find they have the best quality at the most palatable price point.
  • BUCATINI – Bucatini is a long pasta comparable to spaghetti but with one main difference – it’s thicker with a center hole. This allows for the noodle to pick up more sauce (both on the outside and inside of the noodle). If you don’t have bucatini on hand, you can sub with spaghetti.

Recipe Tips for Amatriciana


  • I like to start the guanciale in a cold pan to render out the fat. If you cook it in a hot pan, it’ll result in the guanciale being fried. This rendered fat is a key component to how delicious this Amatriciana is!


  • I like to use a splash of white wine when cooking Italian dishes and this recipe is no different – I find that it adds a dimension of flavor and rounds out the acidity of the tomatoes nicely. However, this is OPTIONAL – even without it, the Amatriciana will still be delicious!


  • Save your pasta water! The Amatriciana sauce will thicken over time, especially when mixed with the pasta, so save some of the pasta water to loosen as needed and create the consistency you want just before serving.

If you tried this Amatriciana or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below!

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5 from 3 votes

Bucatini all’Amatriciana

Servings: 2
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes


  • 5 oz guanciale
  • 8 oz pasta, bucatini or spaghetti
  • 2 oz pecorino cheese, finely grated
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 10 oz peeled San Marzano tomatoes, crushed; can sub with regular tomatoes
  • white wine, optional
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Slice your guanciale into 1/4" thick slabs then 1/4" strips and place in a cold pan. Turn the heat up to high and cook for 3-4 minutes until the fat has rendered out and guanciale is crispy.
  • Add a splash of white wine to stop the cooking process (optional), then add your crushed tomatoes. Season with crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper to taste, and simmer on low while your pasta cooks.
  • Cook pasta to al dente in salted boiling water, then add immediately to the sauce and mix to combine.
  • Add a handful of grated pecorino and continue mixing to thicken up the sauce, adding pasta water if too thick. Top with more freshly grated pecorino and enjoy!


Calories: 2076kcalCarbohydrates: 172gProtein: 63gFat: 125gSaturated Fat: 51gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 211mgSodium: 1925mgPotassium: 574mgFiber: 8gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 532IUVitamin C: 0.01mgCalcium: 654mgIron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Tried this recipe?Mention @cj.eats_ or tag #cjeatsrecipes!

About CJ

I’m a third generation Chinese-American home cook who has always loved cooking & eating! Welcome to my food blog, where you can find trusted, tested, easy & approachable recipes for the everyday home cook that taste delicious! I am so glad you're here!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    easy and delicious and will make again! perfect amount of kick from the red pepper flakes. I used pancetta in place of guanciale.