Bucatini all’Amatriciana | Julie Blanner

Bucatini all’Amatriciana is a flavorful sauce made with staple ingredients in just 30 minutes! This sauce is simple, spicy, slightly salty and served on a beautiful bed of bucatini.

It starts with simmering San Marzano tomatoes, fresh onion and garlic. A dash of red pepper and guanciale, pancetta, prosciutto or bacon create a rich, savory Amatriciana sauce. Serve with your favorite pasta and top it off with fresh grated parmesan cheese.

This hearty recipe is a family favorite, serving 4-6 people.

A skillet with amatriciana sauce-coated bucatini pasta.A skillet with amatriciana sauce-coated bucatini pasta.

My family loved how flavorful this is!! And I love that it is so easy to make!

– Toni –

Ingredient Substitutions and Variations

Ingredients for amatriciana sauce arranged on a white surface, including canned tomatoes, onion, black pepper, cheese, olive oil, diced bacon, and garlic.Ingredients for amatriciana sauce arranged on a white surface, including canned tomatoes, onion, black pepper, cheese, olive oil, diced bacon, and garlic.
  • Guanciale – Guanciale, Pancetta, Prosciutto or Bacon add delicious salty flavor and protein. Chop or cube for the best texture.
  • Yellow Onion – Yellow onion is preferred, but red or white onion also work well in this dish.
  • Garlic – Fresh minced garlic adds amazing flavor, but can be substituted with store-bought.
  • Peeled Tomatoes – Canned San Marzano tomatoes are my go to for this simple sauce, but fresh tomatoes or puréed tomatoes too.
  • Pasta – Bucatini is a hollow noodle that soaks up the sauce inside and out, but you can substitute with spaghetti or the noodle of your choice.
  • Cheese – Fresh grated parmesan or pecorino romano top off this delightful dish.
A white plate of bucatini all'amatriciana, alongside a gold fork on a light blue napkin.A white plate of bucatini all'amatriciana, alongside a gold fork on a light blue napkin.

Test Kitchen Tips

  • Bucatini all’Amatriciana is a quick sauce. Watch carefully to avoid overcooking it, eliminating moisture.
  • For a smoother sauce, use puréed tomatoes or chop before adding them to the pan.
bucatini all'amatriciana in a skillet.bucatini all'amatriciana in a skillet.

Prevent your screen from going dark

  • Fill a large pot with water and add 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil.

    1 tablespoon salt

  • In a skillet over medium heat, add extra virgin olive oil and guanicale. Stirring occasionally, cook approximately 3 minutes, until golden brown.

    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, ¼ pound guanciale

  • Add chopped onion, stirring occasionally until just tender, about 3 minutes. Watching carefully to prevent it from burning, add garlic and continuously stir, approximately 15-30 seconds.

    1 large yellow onion, 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • Using a wooden spatula or spoon, scrape the pan to release bits and coating for maximum flavor. Stir in tomatoes and crushed red pepper flakes. Reduce to a simmer on medium-low heat. Use a wood spoon or spatula to break up the tomatoes to achieve the desired consistency and uncovered about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    28 ounces San Marzano peeled tomatoes, 1¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • Meanwhile, when water comes to a rolling boil, add pasta, stirring occasionally and boil until the noodle is slightly undercooked. Reserve ¼ cup pasta water. Using tongs or a pasta spoon, transfer pasta into pan and toss. Add pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time and toss to emulsify until you achieve the desired thickness and noodles are al dente.

    1 pound pasta

  • Remove from heat and serve with fresh grated parmesan to garnish.

    ¼ cup parmesan

Be careful not to overcook to prevent the sauce from losing moisture. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water to toss pasta in sauce 1 tablespoon at a time to help sauce coat the pasta and add moisture. 


  • Guanciale, Pancetta, Prosciutto or Bacon – Whatever you have on hand or easy access to. I prefer chopped/chunks for the best bite.
  • Olive Oil – Extra Virgin Olive Oil is my go to for sauces. In a pinch you can substitute canola oil or butter.
  • Onion – Yellow, Red or White all work well.
  • Peeled Tomatoes – Canned tomatoes make this dish effortless, but you can substitute fresh. For a smoother sauce, chop or purée.
  • Parmesan – Fresh grated cheese offers the best flavor and texture. Pecorino also lends itself well to this dish.

Storage Notes

Store in an airtight container refrigerated up to 3 days. To reheat, warm in oven or on the stovetop with a drizzle of olive oil or butter to refresh the sauce.

Serving: 4g | Calories: 489kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 431mg | Potassium: 474mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 312IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 2mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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