icon Spaghetti all'Amatriciana
from Pizzeria da Luigi, Bangkok
Amatriciana, or Sugo all'amatriciana, is one of the most well-known pasta sauces in Italian cuisine. It is made with guanciale (dried pork cheek), pecorino cheese, and since the late 18th century also tomato. It originates from the town of Amatrice in the Lazio region of central Italy.

Amatriciana can be served with spaghetti, or in some cases with bucatini. Bucatini resembles spaghetti, but is thicker and has a hole running through the center. A word of caution: bucatini have a much higher resistance to flexural bending. than spaghetti. In practical terms, this means that if you twirl the fork to roll the pasta around it bucatini will have the tendency to swing back and splatter the sauce all over your shirt and tie with a vengeance.


  • 1 lb dry spaghetti
  • 1 lb canned plum tomatoes, chopped and seeds removed
  • 1/4 lb sliced Guanciale (dried pork cheek) or Pancetta (cured un-smoked Italian bacon), cut crosswise into strips
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlick, finely chopped
  • 1/4 lb freshly grated Pecorino cheese
  • 1/2-1 tsp red hot pepper flakes
  • Salt and sugar, to taste



  1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick sauté pan. Add the bacon pieces and let cook for about 5 minutes. Add the garlick and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes and season with a pinch of sugar, pepper flakes, and salt to taste.
  3. Simmer the sauce for about 10-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens.
  4. Cook the pasta al dente in lightly salted water. Drain it and add it to the sauce in the pan. Mix slowly, adding a little of the pecorino cheese at the time.
  5. Arrange on plates and sprinkle with a little of the grated chsses on top. Serve.
  6. YIELD: Serves 4.

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Last updated: October 12, 2010