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Spaghetti Amatriciana Recipe

A classic Italian recipe.  Spaghetti Amatriciana made with pancetta, pecorino, garlic, onions, coarse black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 813kcal
Author James


  • 1 pound spaghetti or bucatini
  • 10 ounces pancetta
  • 2 28 ounce cans of plum tomatoes
  • ½ cup grated pecorino
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp coarse black pepper
  • 2 cup pasta water


  • Chop the garlic and onion.  In a large pan saute the pancetta in the ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil for 7-8 minutes on medium.
  • Next add the crushed red pepper and coarse black pepper to the pan and saute for 30 seconds.  Add the garlic and onions into the pan and saute for 7-8 minutes more.
  • Next add the crushed tomatoes to the pan and cook on medium until they start to bubble.  Turn the heat down to low and let the sauce cook for 15-20 minutes uncovered while boiling the pasta.
  • Cook Pasta to al dente which is about 1 minute less than the package instructions in salted water.  Reserve 2 cups of pasta water.
  • Stir, remove, and set aside 2 cups of the sauce.  Cook the pasta in the remaining sauce along with ¾ cups of pasta water for 1-2 minutes on medium heat.  Stir well and make sure the pasta is absorbing the sauce.
  • Stir in ½ cup of pecorino and turn off heat.  Add a touch more pasta water if too dry.  Add a touch more sauce if needed from the reserved portion.  Plate and serve with more pecorino cheese.  Enjoy!



2 Tablespoons of kosher salt should be used for boiling pasta.
The recipe has extra sauce which is always a good thing.  When made with only one 28 ounce can of tomatoes there is never enough sauce for a pound of pasta.
Guanciale is preferred but hard to find.
No salt is added because of the saltiness of the pancetta and the added pasta water.  Add more salt if you like.


Calories: 813kcal | Carbohydrates: 82g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 47g | Sodium: 800mg