Classic Pasta – Amatriciana;


Spaghetti all’Amatriciana is a traditional pasta dish originating from the town of Amatrice in the Lazio region;

On our recent Italy trip the highly anticipated visit to the famous Roman Trattoria “Vecchia Roma” did not disappoint; they are especially renowned for their Bucatini all’Amatriciana Flambe; pan tossed Amatriciana made with Guanciale tossed in a hollowed flaming wheel of Pecorino; the creamy texture of the melted Pecorino gives the dish an amazingly rich taste. It is a must try experience when in Rome.

This recipe is for a simple authentic Amatriciana; The ingredients I use depends on availability and what I have in the pantry on the day;  Guanciale (cured pork cheek) is not so readily available in suburban Melbourne, Pancetta (cured pork belly) is generally available in some deli’s and supermarkets; and streaky bacon is easily available.

In this version I have used Pancetta, which I had thickly sliced at my local deli, around 3-5mm.



500 grams Bucatini

200 grams of pancetta or guanciale (cured pork cheek) or streaky bacon

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon hot chilli seeds or 1 small fresh chilli chopped

2 x 400g of crushed tomatoes or whole peeled tomatoes puréed

Pecorino Romano grated or buy a wedge and grate yourself


you could use spaghetti or other pasta if you don’t happen to have bucatini;  spaghetti is best use Barilla Spaghettoni N.7 if you can find them.


Roughly Chop Pancetta, Guanciale or Bacon into strips


Add the olive oil to a 30cm frying pan;

heat olive oil;

add Pancetta, Guanciale or Bacon to the hot olive oil;

add chilli to the frypan;

fry until the Pancetta, Guanciale or Bacon until lightly browned;

add the tomato puree;

bring to boil and then lower to a slow simmer and cook for around 10 min;

in the meantime add 5 litres of water to a stock pot and put over a high flame and bring to boil;

add two table spoons of cooking salt to the boiling water;

add the spaghetti;

be sure to stir the pasta a few times in the first few minutes so that it doesn’t stick together or to the bottom of the pot;

Cook for the time recommended on the packet; taste test the pasta in the last few minutes to ensure you don’t overlook the pasta;

drain the pasta in a colander and add to the frypan with the sauce;

stir the pasta through the sauce;

sprinkle with a handful of grated Pecorino;


transfer to a serving dish or serve straight out of the frypan;

serve with more grated pecorino and of course a glass of your favourite red wine;

buon Apetito;


When in Rome I recommend you visit Trattoria Vecchia Roma especially for their famous Bucatini all’Amatriciana Flambe;




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