Dinner/ Recipes

Pasta all Amatriciana Recipe

This rustic Italian recipe for Pasta all Amatriciana is perfect for a weeknight meal. Quick and easy to make, Pasta all Amatriciana has a gorgeously rich tomato sauce, smoky pancetta, a hint of chilli and freshly grated pecorino romano cheese weaved through Garofalo pasta.

Pasta all Amatriciana Spaghetti Recipe - A quick and simple Italian recipe, with bold flavours of pancetta, passata and onion with a hint of chilli. | wandercooks.com

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This recipe is a celebration of all things Italian cuisine.

Hailing from the mountainous town of Amatrice in the 1600s, this rustic Italian shepherd’s recipe uses ingredients that were readily available to shepherds to keep them warm through bitter winters.

They would use:

  • Guanciale or pancetta from their pigs,
  • Tomatoes and onions from the orchards,
  • Pecorino cheese made from sheep’s milk,
  • And fresh pasta made by their wives.

Pasta all Amatriciana Spaghetti Recipe - A quick and simple Italian recipe, with bold flavours of pancetta, passata and onion with a hint of chilli. | wandercooks.com

Even now, the recipe remains the same. Unlike Amatrice itself.

We were shocked to hear of the earthquakes that flattened the town of Amatrice in August 2016.

So today, with the help of Garofalo pasta, and in honour of the people of Amatrice, we hope this Pasta all Amatricana recipe will find a new home in Wandercooks kitchens all over the world.

Pasta all Amatriciana Spaghetti Recipe - A quick and simple Italian recipe, with bold flavours of pancetta, passata and onion with a hint of chilli. | wandercooks.com

 

Please note: This is a sponsored blog post celebrating Pasta Garofalo’s range of high-quality Italian pasta, but all opinions are our own. If you have any questions feel free to get in touch with us.

As it turned out, our first taste of Pasta all Amatriciana was actually a complete disaster… But to be fair, that wasn’t the fault of this recipe! 😂

In the tiny town of San Dona di Piave, just outside Venice, two friends Beppe and Stefano offered to teach us how to cook Pasta all Amatriciana.

From the moment we stepped into the kitchen, we were beset by bad fortune. Refrigerated passata, dolce (sweet) pancetta and a complete lack of wine in the apartment.

(Beppe, you can’t drink beer with pasta!) 😆

And while Chef Stefano wanted to revoke Beppe’s Italian passport, it was the just the beginning of our love affair with Pasta all Amatriciana.

Pasta all Amatriciana Spaghetti Recipe - A quick and simple Italian recipe, with bold flavours of pancetta, passata and onion with a hint of chilli. | wandercooks.com

 

Quick note: There may be a couple of affiliate links in this post, which means that we may get a few cents if you purchase something through the link. We want to make sure some of our hard-to-find ingredients are reachable at the click of a button. If you have any questions feel free to contact us.

Pasta all Amatriciana

What makes this dish so wonderful is its use of simple ingredients with powerhouse results.

High-Quality Pasta

I’m sure you’ll agree: Life’s too short for bad pasta. This recipe suits both long pasta like spaghetti or bucatini, or short pasta such as penne.

Pasta Garofalo makes all these and more in their hometown of Gragnano and exports them to over 70 countries

In fact, they have so many varieties, their catalogue is over 110 pages long!

(We never realised there were so many shapes and sizes! 😅)

Garofalo products are easily recognisable from the rich golden colour of their pasta to the transparent packaging. Brought to life in 1789, their modern production techniques still retain the artisan’s touch, and they proudly wear their pasta making heritage on their sleeves.

Pasta all Amatriciana Spaghetti Recipe - A quick and simple Italian recipe, with bold flavours of pancetta, passata and onion with a hint of chilli. | wandercooks.com

Guanciale / Pancetta

Pasta all Amatriciana calls for an Italian cured meat called guanciale, which is made with pork cheek. Guanciale can sometimes be hard to find, but thankfully it’s extremely similar to pancetta. Look for either type at your local supermarket, Italian grocery store, or even online.

If you can’t find guanciale or pancetta you can easily substitute with bacon chopped into pieces.

Pasta all Amatriciana Spaghetti Recipe - A quick and simple Italian recipe, with bold flavours of pancetta, passata and onion with a hint of chilli. | wandercooks.com

Passata (Room Temperature)

Passata is different from other tomato based pasta sauces because it’s essentially uncooked tomato puree strained of the seeds and skin. Stefano’s number one rule when it comes to using passata is to always use it at room temperature. If for some reason you’ve got passata that’s been kept in the fridge, you can quickly run it under warm water to bring it to room temperature.

Pasta Water

Pasta water is the unsung hero of Italian pasta sauces.  All that milky white starch helps give your sauce a smoother consistency and make it bind with your pasta. Be sure to save some when you drain your pasta – don’t just let it go to waste!

Pasta all Amatriciana Spaghetti Recipe - A quick and simple Italian recipe, with bold flavours of pancetta, passata and onion with a hint of chilli. | wandercooks.com

We’ve saved a few more tips and tricks for the recipe below, so give it a try and let us know how you go!

P.S. Best served with a glass of red wine and a nod of thanks to the people of Amatrice. 😘

Buon Appetito!


5.0 from 5 reviews
Pasta all Amatriciana
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A rustic Italian pasta dish hailing from Amatrice, this recipe for Pasta all Amatriciana is perfect for a weeknight meal. Quick and easy to make, Pasta all Amatriciana has a gorgeously rich tomato sauce, smoky pancetta, a hint of <g class="gr_ gr_143 gr-alert gr_spell gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling multiReplace" id="143" data-gr-id="143">chilli</g> and freshly grated pecorino romano cheese weaved through Garofalo pasta. Buon Appetito!
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Let's start by bringing a large saucepan of water to boil. For the best texture, use 1 litre of water per 100g of pasta, and add in a large handful of good quality rock salt.
  2. Once the water's boiling, add your pasta and cook for a few minutes LESS than the packet directions indicate (the pasta will continue to cook when it's added into the sauce). Drain the pasta but make sure to reserve some of the liquid to use in the sauce. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan over a high heat. Add the onion, chillis and guanciale/pancetta or bacon pieces, and stir fry until gorgeously fragrant.
  4. The next step is to add the passata and 5 – 6 scoops of pasta water. Stir everything through then reduce heat to low and simmer for a few minutes.
  5. Now for the fun part! Place the drained pasta on top of the sauce, but DON'T mix through yet. First, top the pasta with your grated pecorino romano cheese and gently mix it through the pasta (avoiding the sauce as much as possible).
  6. Once the pasta is coated with that wonderfully melted cheese, you can start to slowly mix it in with the sauce. It should bind nicely to the cheese-coated pasta.
  7. If you decide the sauce is too dry, you can add more pasta water and mix it through until the pasta is nicely coated.
  8. To serve, portion out the pasta into serving bowls, leaving some of the cooked pancetta to place on the top as a garnish.
  9. Buon appetito!
Notes
This recipe calls for a good amount of extra virgin olive oil in the sauce, however, this is not always to everyone’s taste. Feel free to adjust the amount of olive oil used in the sauce to your own preference.
For the best <g class="gr_ gr_149 gr-alert gr_spell gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling multiReplace" id="149" data-gr-id="149">flavour</g> <g class="gr_ gr_148 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_run_anim Grammar multiReplace" id="148" data-gr-id="148">make</g> sure the passata is at room temperature before cooking. If you keep it in the fridge, just run it under some warm water before cooking.

P.P.S. Oooooooh boy. Hasn’t Sarah’s photography come a long way??? 😱😂😘

Pasta all Amatriciana Spaghetti Recipe - A quick and simple Italian recipe, with bold flavours of pancetta, passata and onion with a hint of chilli. | wandercooks.com

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  • Natalie | Natalie's Food & Health
    03/03/2017 at 11:43 pm

    This looks amazing!!! I’m a huge pasta fan so I can’t wait to try this pasta amatriciana. Lovely photos. And thanks for tips 😉

    • Wandercooks
      09/03/2017 at 11:09 am

      Thanks for stopping by Natalie, glad to help! 🙂

  • Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche
    03/03/2017 at 10:13 pm

    Is there ANYTHING more comforting than a big bowl of pasta in a rich sauce?! Especially with some grated cheese over the top 😉 Yum!

    • Wandercooks
      09/03/2017 at 11:12 am

      Hmmm that’s true, there aren’t too many things as comforting as a big bowl of pasta… unless it’s a nice glass of red to wash it down with! 😋

  • Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine
    03/03/2017 at 7:10 pm

    Stunning photos of this dish! I haven’t experimented much with that dark look, but this motivates me to!

    • Wandercooks
      10/03/2017 at 8:49 am

      Thanks, it’s definitely a style we love to experiment with and that makes the colours in our dishes really pop. We’ve learned so much about moody photography from Rachel over at Two Loves Studio so be sure to check out her site. 🙂

  • Brian Jones
    03/03/2017 at 4:32 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with life being too short for bad pasta, in fact, life is too short for bad food period 🙂 Love the sound of this, simple and beautiful.

    • Wandercooks
      03/03/2017 at 5:41 pm

      High fives to that, Brian! And thanks for your kind words.

  • Luci's Morsels
    03/03/2017 at 4:12 pm

    This looks delicious! I am having some serious dinner envy! Yummy!

    • Wandercooks
      03/03/2017 at 5:40 pm

      Haha dinner envy – there’s only one cure! 😉

  • Carlos At Spoonabilities
    02/03/2017 at 9:57 pm

    The pasta looks amazingly good and the pictures are beautiful

    • Wandercooks
      03/03/2017 at 2:23 pm

      Aww thanks Carlos, means a lot. Hope you enjoy your amatriciana! 🙂

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