Pasta Amatriciana recipe has everything you want in a dish. Delicious, with great depth of flavor yet simple to make. It is easy and quick enough to enjoy on a weeknight. All you need now is a good glass of Chianti and warm crusty bread.
Why you should make pasta amatriciana
- Flavor. This Italian pasta is truly delicious without much effort.
- Easy to Make: You can have dinner ready in 50 minutes.
- Minimal ingredients. The main ingredient in this recipe is the San Marzano tomatoes. Make sure they are authentic D.O.P certified Italian tomatoes. They are truly delicious and can be costly (about $7-$8 for a 28 oz can), so if you are on a budget, aim for the best whole tomatoes you can afford.
Here are your ingredients
- Guanciale. It is an Italian cured meat product prepared from pork. Its has a stronger flavor than bacon or pancetta, with a more delicate texture. When it is cooked the fat melts away. In this recipe, the fat is used to develop the sauce.
- Onion. A small onion is enough. A great substitute is a medium shallot.
- San Marzano tomatoes. They are the best canned tomatoes for sauces. In this recipe, they roast whole in an oven-proof pot. I chose to cook them this way instead of over the stove, inspired by chef Buddha Lo’s Amatriciana recipe.
- Chili pepper. It is used whole to provide a bit of heat. Italians remove it after sauteing the onions; I like to keep it while the tomatoes roast and remove it later.
- Tomato paste. Another addition to the original recipe borrowed from chef Buddha.
- Rigatoni pasta. I love using a short-cut thick pasta because it provides a large surface with ridges perfect for sauces.
- Pecorino romano cheese. The salty, delicious cheese is traditionally used in this dish and provides most of the seasoning along with the guanciale. Apart from a tiny pinch of sea salt over the onions I don’t use any more salt.
- Extra virgin olive oil, sea salt & freshly ground black pepper. and chili flakes for serving (optional).
This is what you do
Cut the guanciale into small cubes or stripes.
Add one tablespoon of olive oil to an oven-proof pot. Over medium heat, add the guanciale and cook for 5-7 min. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the guanciale to a bowl for later.
In the same pot, using the rendered fat from the guanciale, add the onion, chili pepper, and a pinch of salt. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Add the tomato paste and continue stirring constantly to build the flavors.
Add the San Marzano tomatoes, stir lightly and cover the pot. Place it in a 380°F / 190°C oven for 45 min.
While the tomatoes roast, cook rigatoni pasta until al dente.
With a spoon or whisk, crush the tomatoes into a sauce. Add the guanciale back in and stir. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pasta directly into the pot and mix it with the sauce.
- 8 oz guanciale cubed or in strips. Substitute with pancetta or thick bacon.
- 1 onion small, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 chili pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 28 oz San Marzano tomatoes
- 16 oz rigatoni pasta or the pasta of your choice
- thyme leaves
- pecorino romano cheese for serving, grated
- chili pepper flakes for serving, optional
- freshly ground black pepper
- sea salt
- Over medium heat, add the guanciale to a pot and cook for 5-7 min. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the guanciale to a bowl for later leaving any rendered fat behind in the pot. 8 oz guanciale
- Add the onion, chili pepper, and a pinch of salt to the rendered fat from the guanciale in the same pot. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and thyme leaves and continue stirring constantly to build the flavors. 1 onion 2 garlic cloves 1 chili pepper 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- Add the San Marzano tomatoes and cover the pot. Place it in a 380°F / 190°C oven for 45 min. 28 oz San Marzano tomatoes
- With a whisk or spoon crush the tomatoes into a sauce. Add the guanciale back in and stir. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.sea salt freshly ground black pepper
- Cook rigatoni pasta until al dente. Transfer the pasta directly into the pot using a slotted spoon and mix with the sauce. 16 oz rigatoni pasta
- Serve with finely grated pecorino, chili flakes and thyme leaves(if desired) and a drizzle of olive oil. pecorino romano cheese thyme leaves chili pepper flakes