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Pasta all'Amatrice

Amatriciana sauce takes its name from Amatrice, a small town in the region of Lazio in the municipality of Rieti. The use of tomato distinguishes it from gricia, a sauce based on pork cheek (bacon) and pepper. The addition of tomato is linked to the use of long pasta such as “bucatini” (long, hollow tubular pasta) or spaghetti. Amatriciana sauce is normally served in Rome with “bucatini” and sprinkled with Pecorino Romano sheep’s milk cheese, while in Amatrice it is traditionally served with spaghetti. Serves 6


1/2 pound guanciale (or pancetta) diced 

3 ripe plum tomatoes, peeled cut and seeded 

1 small dried red chili pepper, crushed 

1 lb bucatini 

2/3 cup grated pecorino cheese (or cheese with peppercorns) 

Salt and pepper



In a sauté pan cook the guanciale or pancetta until it begins to render its fat.  Remove and set aside.  

Add the tomatoes with the crumbled chili pepper to the same pan.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Return the pancetta to the pan; cover and keep warm while the pasta is cooking. 

Cook the bucatini in 4 to 6 quarts of salted water until “al dente”, drain and dress with the sauce.  Add salt and pepper and sprinkle with the cheese.  Mix well and serve hot. 

This recipe is featured on show 2316 - Pasta Roman Style.


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