This video recipe for one of my favourite Roman dishes is a free sample from my iPad App, Product of Italy. To learn more about the app, click here.

Lots of people in Lazio have their own recipe for this dish, and they all think theirs is the most authentic! If you can't find guanciale at the grocery store, you can use pancetta as a substitute. (If you you're desperate you can even use bacon, but please don't tell my mother I said so!)

Feel free to make the sauce in advance and just heat it up when the pasta is ready. Enjoy the video - the written instructions are below. 


  • 1 pound Bucatini 
  • ½ pound Guanciale (cured pig cheeks) or Italian pancetta 
  • 1 cup of Italian peeled san marzano tomatoes 
  • 3 fresh san marzano tomatoes  diced   Note: You can substitute roma or plum
  • 1 handful of Basil leaves
  • ½ cup white wine 
  • ½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese 
  • ¼ cup olive oil 
  • 1 whole fresh hot pepper 
  • 1 small white onion diced
  • 2 tbsp of coarse sea salt for the pasta water
  • Fine sea salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 


Prep the Amatriciana: (5 minutes) 

  1. Dice the Guanciale or pancetta into ¼ inch cubes. 
  2. Seed and dice the fresh tomatoes. 
  3. Put the peeled tomatoes in a bowl and crush them with your hands.
  4. Dice the onion.
  5. Seed and chop the chili pepper.

Make the sauce for the Amatriciana: (10 minutes)

  1. Add the Guanciale or pancetta to a large frying pan set to medium heat. Fry for 1 minute.
  2. Add the onions and the chili pepper.  Fry until the onion begins to brown.
  3. Add the white wine and cook until it evaporates.
  4. Add the fresh tomatoes when the wine has evaporated and let them cook for a 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Add the crushed tomatoes and the whole basil leaves. Submerge the leaves into the sauce to prevent them from turning brown.

Cook the Amatricana sauce: (30 minutes)  

  1. Add fine sea salt to taste and bring the sauce to a boil. Once it has begun to boil, reduce the heat to medium low and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat after 30 minutes if you are waiting until later to make the pasta.

Cook and finish the pasta for the Amatriciana:  (15 minutes)  

  1. Bring a pasta pot filled with water to a boil and then add the salt. 
  2. Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. 
  3. While the pasta is cooking, warm the sauce on the stove. 
  4. Taste the pasta in the last minute of cooking to make sure it is al dente. Add salt to taste if needed.
  5. Using kitchen tongs, transfer the pasta directly to the sauce. Reserve some of the pasta cooking water in case the sauce is too dry.
  6. Add the cheese to the pasta and sauce. Mix it on the burner until all flavors are well incorporated.
  7. Serve with more fresh ground black pepper. You can also add more cheese if you like.

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