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Bucatini all’Amatriciana

How to make an authentic Bucatini all'Amatriciana. This classic Italian pasta dish is insanely delicious made with tomato, guanciale and pecorino cheese. It takes 20 minutes or less to make and is perfect comfort food for busy weeknights!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 758kcal
Author: Emily Kemp


  • 1.1 pounds bucatini pasta can also use spaghetti or rigatoni (400g)
  • 1.5 cups guanciale (150g)
  • 1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese grated (70g)
  • 28 oz canned whole plum tomatoes (800g)
  • cup dry white wine (80ml)
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (chilli flakes)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Trim the thick skin from the bottom of the guanciale and discard or freeze (can be used to flavour soups). If preferred, trim some of the dark seasoned layer on the top then cut the guanciale into ¼ inch thick cubes or strips.
  • Heat a large pan on a medium heat and add the guanciale. Fry it until the fat starts to melt and it becomes crispy.
  • Once crispy, add the white wine and simmer to reduce the liquid by half. Add the tomatoes and break them up with the side of a wooden spoon or spatula then add the red pepper flakes. Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes.
  • While the sauce is simmering add the pasta to the boiling salted water and cook until al dente (see packet instructions and reduce the time by 2-3 minutes). Reserve ½ cup (125ml) of pasta water.
  • Once the pasta is cooked add it to the tomato sauce and toss (add a splash of reserved pasta water if needed, see notes). Add the grated pecorino cheese and toss everything together until the pasta is well coated in the sauce then serve.



  • Use guanciale if possible - it's really worth getting your hands on guanciale to really taste an authentic amatriciana sauce, it's also what's used to make a classic Carbonara and Pasta alla Gricia and it adds a crazy amount of flavour!
  • Use reserved pasta water as needed - add a splash of reserved pasta water to emulsify your sauce if it has reduced too much and add flavour.
  • Taste before adding salt - guanciale can be heavily salted so you may not need to add additional salt to the sauce. Always taste the tomato sauce before adding the pasta and season it as needed.
  • Make in advance - you can make the sauce in advance (don't add the pecorino) and store it in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat until piping hot then add the pasta and pecorino and toss everything together.
  • Storage - leftovers can be stored in the fridge for around 2 days.


Calories: 758kcal | Carbohydrates: 84g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 829mg | Potassium: 633mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 381IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 272mg | Iron: 3mg