It’s easy to make Authentic Bucatini all’ Amatriciana. You only need a few simple ingredients to make one of my favorite classic Italian pasta dish, but the results yield amazing flavor that your family will love.
Made with crushed tomatoes (San Marzano Tomatoes), guanciale, pecorino cheese, and red pepper flakes.
You can have my Amatriciana Recipe on your dinner table in less than 20 minutes which makes one of Italy’s classic pastas perfect for a weeknight dinner.
This is one of my favorite bucatini recipes, another favorite is my Bucatini with Blackened Salmon.
Ingredients needed to make Bucatini all’ Amatriciana
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to my make Bucatini all’ Amatriciana Recipe. In Chef Speak this is called the “Mise en Place” which translates to “Everything in its Place”.
Not only does setting your ingredients up ahead of time speed up the cooking process, it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
- Bucatini – this thick, hollow spaghetti-like shape is perfect for soaking up the deliciousness of the amatriciana sauce. Alternatively, you can use perciatelli, spaghetti or penne.
- Tomatoes – San Marzano tomatoes are always the best choice for tomato sauces and San Marzano tomatoes will only be available as whole tomatoes in juice; if they’re already crushed they’re not San Marzano. You can crush the tomatoes by hand for a rustic look, or in a food processor for a silky smooth sauce.
- Guanciale –is cured pork jowl (pork cheek) and is always the first choice for this dish! Guanciale is fattier than pancetta (from the belly) but pancetta makes a good substitute if you can’t find guanciale.
- Red pepper flakes – red pepper flakes add the heat to this dish and depending upon your tastes add more or less for the flavor profile you enjoy.
- Pecorino Romano cheese – this cheese is the only cheese used to make an Amatriciana Sauce. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese can be used, but i won’t taste the same.
- White wine – a dry white wine such as Pinot Grigio, Verdicchio, or Orvieto is the best choice but any white wine you enjoy drinking will work. The wine can be omitted from this dish.
How do I make Bucatini all’ Amatriciana?
Add the diced guanciale to a large skillet with a little olive oil over medium-low heat and cook until browned but still tender, about 4-5 minutes.
*You can remove the top skin of the guanciale, but I like the added flavor that comes from it.
*If you want to use onions and garlic in the amatriciana sauce add the onions with the guanciale and when those have finished cooking, add the garlic and allow it to cook for 30-60 seconds.
*If you can’t find guanciale, pancetta is a good substitute and can usually be found in your local supermarket.
Deglaze the pan with white wine to slow the cooking process and loosen all the tasty browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
If you don’t want to use wine to deglaze the pan you can use chicken or vegetable stock.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Allow the mixture to simmer while the pasta cooks (about 10 minutes)
While the amatriciana sauce cooks, you can begin cooking the bucatini. Make sure when you drain the sauce, to reserve ½ cup of the pasta cooking water to add the amatriciana sauce.
*Make sure to add a good pinch of salt to the pasta cooking water before adding the bucatini. Cook the bucatini al dente per the instructions on the box.
Add the pasta water to the sauce with the grated Romano cheese and cooked pasta. Toss the pasta in the sauce to mix well.
*If you use shredded Romano cheese instead of grated add the pasta water and cheese to the sauce before adding the pasta. This will allow the cheese to melt fully.
Once the bucatini has been tossed in the sauce you’re all done and it’s time to enjoy this classic pasta dish.
Serve Bucatini all’ Amatriciana with additional grated Romano cheese and garnish with chopped Italian parsley. Add a loaf of crusty bread and a tossed salad and you’ve got an easy and delicious weeknight dinner.
If you can’t find guanciale, you can substitute pancetta. The guanciale is more flavorful and is generally used in most Italian pasta sauces, but pancetta is an acceptable substitute.
Adding some of the pasta cooking water to the amatriciana sauce is recommended. I actually add a little of the pasta cooking water to most pasta sauces I serve.
Yes, you can. If you do add the onions when you saute the guanciale and add the garlic after those ingredients are finished cooking, allowing the garlic to cook for 30-60 seconds.
Traditionally neither onion or garlic is in an amatriciana sauce, and if they are added you will need to let the sauce cook for 10-20 minutes longer.