Authentic Pasta Amatriciana Recipe

This Pasta Amatriciana recipe is one of the pillars of Roman pasta, along with: Spaghetti Carbonara, Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe and Pasta alla Gricia! With fine Italian guanciale, tomato and pecorino cheese—you’ll love this dish!

This is the traditional Pasta Amatriciana recipe (published by the Amatrice Chamber of Commerce) with spaghetti, guanciale, white wine, olive oil, red pepper, tomato and pecorino cheese. You won’t believe how easy this spaghetti recipe is!

The official and authentic Pasta Amatriciana recipe!

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Learn how to make this Pasta Amatriciana recipe in our video recipe, filmed in Italy:

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About Pasta Amatriciana

Pasta Amatriciana (Pasta all’Amatriciana) is considered a classic Roman pasta dish. It dates back to ancient times, when it was likely imported to Rome from the nearby Italian town of Amatrice by immigrants from the region.

Pasta Amatriciana is considered the child of Pasta alla Gricia, which is essentially Spaghetti Amatriciana without the tomato. Pasta alla Gricia is considered the child of Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe pasta and the parent of Amatriciana pasta.

Adding the pecorino shredded at the end, or as a cheese sauce are both considered acceptable preparations of this traditional Italian pasta recipe!

How to Make Spaghetti Amatriciana

Pasta Amatriciana is really easy to make! See the full recipe at the bottom of this page. Here are the basic steps:

Fry the Guanciale

Start by sautéing a few small red chili peppers in a bit of olive oil to infuse the olive oil with flavor.

Then, add guanciale (cut into strips). Guanciale is more traditional in this dish, but pancetta is ok too. Pancetta is cured pork belly, while guanciale is cured pork cheek. 

Fry the guanciale over low heat until the fat turns translucent, then increase the heat to crispy it up! This is how guanciale is always prepared for Italian Pasta recipes. The result is a tender guanciale inside with a crispy exterior.

After de-glazing the pan with white wine, remove the guanciale and set it aside for later. It’s now time to make the sauce!

Make the Sauce

Add crushed whole canned tomatoes and a pinch of salt to the pepper-infused oil and guanciale drippings that remain in the pan.

You may be wondering: Why not just buy crushed canned tomatoes? You can, but most Italian cooks know that whole canned tomatoes tend to be sweeter in flavor than the same brand in a crushed tomato. We have found this to be absolutely true!

Crushed tomatoes tend to include the water and seeds of the tomato. This usually increases the acidity and reduces the sweetness of the tomato product. By buying whole canned tomatoes (and removing the seeds and water), we can create a sweeter crushed tomato product for our sauce!

Cook the Pasta

Both Spaghetti and Bucatini are used in Italy for this dish. Cook the pasta in salted water to al dente according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta, and it’s ready to add to the sauce! Save the hot pasta water—we still need it!

Finish the Pasta in the Sauce

Once the tomato has simmered for a bit and our pasta is cooked to al dente, we add the fried guanciale back to the sauce along with most of the grated pecorino cheese.

Add the drained pasta and a few ladles of the hot pasta water to the pan. Mix to combine. The hot pasta water will help to slightly melt the pecorino cheese. Serve and top with the rest of the grated pecorino cheese!

Adding the fried guanciale to the sweet tomato sauce!

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Authentic Pasta Amatriciana Recipe

Learn how to make Pasta Amatriciana like an Italian. This is the traditional Pasta Amatriciana recipe (published by the Amatrice Chamber of Commerce) with spaghetti, guanciale, white wine, olive oil, red pepper, tomato and pecorino cheese. You won't believe how easy this spaghetti recipe is!
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 4 people


  • 1 Large Pot for cooking the pasta
  • 1 Large Skillet


  • 3 oz guanciale or pancetta
  • 12 oz whole canned tomatoes look for 'San Marzano'
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup dry white wine example: Pino Grigio
  • 1 whole fresh red chili pepper or to taste
  • 3 ½ oz pecorino romano cheese finely grated
  • 1 pinch fine salt or to taste
  • 11 oz spaghetti or bucatini


Prepare the Ingredients

  • Cut the guanciale into strips (about 1 inch x 1/3 of an inch).
  • Remove the water and seeds from the whole tomatoes, leaving only the tomato pulp. Mash or blend the tomato into a crushed tomato consistency (pulpy with some sauce).

Fry the Guanciale

  • Cover the bottom of a large skillet with the olive oil. Heat the oil over medium-low heat, then add the fresh chili pepper. After about a minute, add the guanciale slices.
  • Fry the strips of guanciale over low heat. When the fat on the guanciale begins to turn translucent, increase the heat to medium and add the wine to de-glaze the pan. Continue frying the guanciale until it is golden brown and crispy. 
  • Remove the guanciale pieces and set them aside for later. Remove the red chili pepper from the pan.
    Leave the guanciale grease in the pan. We will finish the dish in this pan. We want all that delicious guanciale grease to flavor our tomato sauce! 

Make the Sauce

  • Add the crushed tomato to the pan and simmer on low heat. In the meantime…

Cook the Pasta

  • Boil the pasta in salted water. Cook the pasta for the amount of time recommended for ‘al dente’ pasta on the package directions. 
    Save the hot pasta water. We’ll use it to finish the pasta in the sauce!

Finish with Pasta

  • Add most of the pecorino cheese and immediately toss to combine. Add the guanciale back into the sauce as well.
    Add the drained, cooked pasta to the finished sauce.
    Add a ladle or two of the hot pasta water as needed to mix the pasta and melt the cheese. Top with more grated Pecorino cheese and serve! 



Use San Marzano Tomatoes
For the sweetest tomato sauce? Use whole fresh Roma or San Marzano tomatoes or whole peeled canned tomatoes.
Remove Tomato Seeds
Remove tomato seeds by cutting the tomatoes open and using your fingers to push the seeds out. This is easier done under running water or in a bowl of filtered water. This assists in removing any acidity, leaving the sweet tomato pulp. Puree the pulp until you have a coarse sauce (crushed tomatoes)
Pecorino Amatrice
Use ‘pecorino amatrice’ if you can find it. Different regions have different pecorino cheeses which vary slightly in taste. Otherwise, just use a Pecorino Romano cheese.
Keyword meat lover, pasta
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Classic recipes from Italy and beyond. Traditional Italian Cooking and Mediterranean Diet recipes!

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10 thoughts on “Authentic Pasta Amatriciana Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    “Buongiorno Chef.
    Sono Polacco affezionato della cucina italiana.
    Mi sono iscritto al canale perché secondo me ricette sono ben spiegate con aggiunta della storia dell’piatto.
    Apprezzo molto.👍”

  2. 5 stars
    “Complimenti…. Siete davvero bravissimi, e molto molto molto eleganti nella presentazione del video. Sia di questo che degli altri che avete fatto. Complimenti davvero!!!”


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