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Pasta all'Amatriciana

4 Servings

30 minutes

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Amatriciana is a minimalist equation of pasta, tomatoes, guanciale and pecorino Romano cheese, and in Rome it’s served with barely any sauce, as we learned from Mario Ive, retired artillery colonel in the Italian army and cookbook author. The cooking method—using as little liquid as possible when cooking the sauce—concentrates flavors in the sauce, which coats the pasta nicely. We apply that principle for the pasta in this recipe, as well, cooking spaghetti in half the amount of water (2 quarts) we usually use. To that we add a chunk of pecorino Romano, which infuses the noodles with rich, savory flavor. We also undercook the pasta, allowing it to finish cooking in the sauce. One 14½-ounce can of whole tomatoes, drained and cooked down, is plenty to dress four servings. Likewise, just 3 ounces of pancetta—more widely available than guanciale—provides ample flavor. Be sure to purchase thinly sliced pancetta and chop it finely to ensure the pieces crisp well.




Don’t boil the pasta until al dente. Drain it when it's a minute or two shy of al dente; it will continue to cook when added to the sauce in the skillet.

30 minutes


  • 3

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 3

    ounces thinly sliced pancetta, finely chopped


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Nancy S.
December 13, 2023
Definitely good, definitely rich
Not sure this is legal, I made this with whole wheat penne because it was what I had around. Turned out wonderful.
Amy G.
October 10, 2023
This was quick and easy on the stovetop and packed a lot of flavor.
Katie A.
December 21, 2022
Amazing flavor!
Made this in my instapot and it was simple and good.
Jim K.
July 29, 2022
5+ Stars!
Huge flavor!

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Michele R.

Made as written except for using guanciale in place of prosciutto. Next time we would choose to up amount of tomatoes by 50 percent "ish". Delicious take on one of our household's fav pasta dishes. Sized just right for 4 servings.

Annie W.

This would be a lot easier to make if it were scaled for the 28-ounce cans of whole tomatoes that are available at my local groceries (I could only find diced in the 14.5-ounce size).