Bucatini all’Amatriciana is a delicious tomato sauce made with pancetta tossed with a special type of hollow spaghetti called Bucatini. This is an authentic Amatriciana sauce recipe! It’s an Italian delicacy!
Italian cuisine is one of the finest cuisines in the world. Bucatini all’Amatriciana is one of the best and most popular Italia dishes by no mistake. It is simply delicious and if you are a red sauce lover like me, you’ll take a liking to it.
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links which means, if you make a purchase, I’ll receive a very small commission but, the price you pay is the same.
When in Rome…
…do as the Romans do. Ok, well maybe not everything. LOL When I visited Rome several years ago, I was so excited to be in one of the oldest cities in the world! I was walking on the streets of what was once a thriving civilization that was ahead of its time.
It is an incredible experience to walk steps away from the great Coloseum where gladiators fought wild beasts for entertainment.
After seeing some of the beautiful sites, one does get a little hungry. We had a wonderful meal at a restaurant near the Coloseum that served us antipasto. It had fresh roasted peppers, prosciutto, sharp provolone cheese and green olives. A simple, yet absolutely delicious, pasta dish with tomato sauce followed.
I thought to myself “How can this sauce be so tasty?” It was the kind of tasty that you can’t stop eating it. You don’t even want to talk to anyone until you finish every last forkful. Please don’t interrupt me while I devour this spaghetti with a hole it mixed with savory tomato sauce.
Yes, it was THAT good! Really!
I soon found out this simple dish is a popular classic Roman dish. Bucatini all’Amatriciana is the name of this delicious dish. It is named after the town where it originated called Amatrice.
The meat used in the original Bucatini all’Amatriciana recipe is cured pork jowl which, I suspect may not be easy to find. A common and widely accepted substitute is good quality pancetta (similar to bacon.)
Pork gives tomato sauce an incredibly savory flavor and turns the color of the sauce a bit orange (pictured later in this post.) You may be able to buy it already diced.
If you’ve never heard of Bucatini, it is similar to spaghetti, except it is hollow. I’ve referred to it as spaghetti with a whole in it. “Bucco” in Italian means hole. If you can’t find Bucatini, use spaghetti. The originators of this recipe used spaghetti and over time Bucatini became the pasta to use, hence its name.
Where to find bucatini
You can find this pasta online on Amazon or in Italian specialty stores. I bought the Bucatini pasta (pictured below), Pecorino Romano cheese and Pancetta (pictured above) from a great local Italian specialty store.
How to Make Bucatini all’Amatriciana
- First, make the sauce. Simmer minced garlic in extra virgin olive oil (the only kind of olive oil I use.)
- Then add the pancetta and cooked for three minutes before I added the tomatoes with juice. You may use crushed tomatoes instead of diced tomatoes.
- After adding the tomatoes, let it cook for one hour. It will take one hour for this sauce to achieve its perfected state of greatness. This sauce will not taste as good in 45 minutes. It needs the extra 15 minutes of cook time!
- Then, add a little starchy pasta water to the sauce and mix with the pasta.
- Last, top it with grated Pecorino Romano cheese and crushed pepper flakes. That’s it! Easy!
Do you see the orange color? I’ve adapted this authentic Bucatini All”Amatriciana recipe from La Cucina Italiana.it . The recipe at this site uses cured pork jowl.
What is bucatini past used for?
Aside from Bucantini All’Amatriciana, bucatini is used in place of just about any spaghetti recipe such as, Spaghetti Garlic and Olive Oil or Carbonara.
How do they make bucatini pasta?
Bucatini is made with a disk that has tiny circular perforations. The dough is guided into long tubes and then cut and dried.
When you have some wild beasts (a.k.a. hangry husband and kids that haven’t eaten in an hour) to feed, this savory, yet simple pasta recipe comes together in one hour. It will leave their tummies full and a smile on their faces! It is the perfect Sunday dinner!
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- 1 lb Bucatini pasta
- 5 oz of pancetta or bacon diced
- 2- 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes with basil garlic and oregano seasoning
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves of fresh garlic minced
- Pecorino Romano grated cheese 3 tbs
- red pepper flakes optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp of pasta water
- In a large frying pan on medium heat, begin to heat olive oil. Add garlic and simmer for 30 seconds being careful not to brown the garlic. Then, add pancetta and black pepper and cook for two minutes. Add tomatoes with juice. Cook on medium heat for 15 minutes and then turn to low heat and cook another 45 minutes, covered stirring every ten minutes. When sauce is finished cooking, stir in 3 tbs of pasta water.
- In a large stock pot, boil 4 quarts of water and season with salt. Cook Bucatini pasta according to package directions. Do not over cook. Reserve 3 tbs of pasta water for sauce. Drain pasta and return back to stock pot.
- Add tomato sauce to the drained pasta and stir together.
- Add grated Pecorino Romano cheese and crushed red pepper flakes before serving.
Thanks Pat. I appreciate it.
hi Joanne, just wanted to let you know this turned out great and i linked back to you in my april reflections post. thanks for sharing! 😀
I just set up email subscription this week. You can subscribe now. Your comment went to spam so, I’m just seeing your comment.
Thanks Karen! Thanks for commenting. There are so many great Italian dishes.
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
Your dish of pasta looks just like what you would get in Rome.
Yes, my family looks forward to my food and desserts. Italian food is one of the best cuisines in the world, in my opinion. Thanks for your comment.
Thanks. Both of these are really good. The pasta dish is one of my favs. Both easy recipes too!
Yum! That really looks amazing. I may have to try out that lighter tiramisu recipe, too. 🙂
Starving Author says
Your family must be well fed every night. Personally, I enjoy Italian food myself.
Di Bruno Bros. Under cured meat-bacon
Joanne, this looks delicious! I am making this soon and found that same brand of pancetta on Amazon…do you know if there’s anywhere else i could order from?
I will immediately grab your rss feed as I can’t find your e-mail subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly let me know in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.
Jody Carotenuto says
Joanne, I would never pass up an offer to dinner at your house, especially since I know what an amazing old school Italian cook you are! Im excited over the opportunity to make some of your favorites dishes myself. Thank you!
You’re very welcome. Let me know how it turns out when you make it. It will probably be better than Macaroni Grill.
Grace Smith says
Macaroni Grill, I know it’s a chain restaurant, used to make a pasta Amatriciana that you had to know about to order. I loved it more than anything and ordered it every time I was there. Soooooooooooo good. Thanks to you, I can now make it myself. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Hi Jody! I’ll have to have you over for dinner and let you pick the recipe. How does that sound? Thanks for commenting and visiting my blog. I really appreciate your support.
Thank you. It really is simple and incredibly delicious! My family loved it. Thanks for your comment and hope you’ll come back soon!
Thanks. I’ll have to look for guanciale and make it with that. I absolutely LOVE this dish! Thanks for visiting my site!Hope to see you here again!
When I’m lucky enough to find myself in Rome, pasta all’Amatriciana is one dish I’m guaranteed to order. I love it and your recipe is authentic. I prepare it much in the same way, although I use guanciale instead of pancetta — when I can find it.
Lynne (Lynne's Recipe Trails) says
Joanne, this really sounds fantastic !!! I am keen to try this and it looks nice and simple to do. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂
Jody Carotenuto says
I’m not a fan of pancetta, I’ve tried it several times for the flavor in a couple of recipes. I often hear people rave about it,and you make it sound so delicious as well, which is why I keep trying it. I guess i just don’t have a palette for it. I love how you describe the experience!!