Bucatini all’Amatriciana Recipe

Every time Damiano makes us pasta… it becomes a new favourite. So this means, yes, you need to make this Bucatini all’Amatriciana recipe. And no, we can’t pronounce it very well either, don’t stress.

Bucatini all’Amatriciana is famously from the region of Lazio, western central Italy (includes Roma), along with Carbonara and Cacao e Pepe. This pasta dish is named after the small town of Amatrice within the Lazio region.

Carbonara has been our favourite for almost a year now (you should check out this recipe), but officially now it’s this bowl of goodness.

Bucatini all'Amatriciana recipe

Bucatini all’Amatriciana

The ingredients that make this wonderful dish are guanciale, pecorino, tomatoes, white wine, a hint of chilli and of course the bucatini pasta. 

You might be reading that and thinking, what the heck are these ingredients and where can I find them? If you’re in a city here in Australia, you’ll most likely find a good deli with ingredients like this. Otherwise do your best with supermarkets. 

Guanciale (pronounced gwan-CHAH-leh, useful when you’re ordering and don’t have an Italian handy), which is a cured pig’s cheek. Very salty, tasty, fatty goodness. Oh my. It’s truly a taste sensation. If you can’t get guanciale, opt for pancetta, the flavour isn’t the same but it’s better than bacon. 

If you’re wondering what Bucatini pasta is. It’s spaghetti with a hole through the middle, like a tube of spaghetti. Of course, cooked Al dente. You can find it in most supermarkets. 

Then you have Pecorino Romano, hard, salty Italian cheese. This should be in local supermarkets and most delish. It’s really so fantastic. Honestly ahhh,we love good Cheese, mostly we prefer hard cheese BUT wow Emma is also obsessed with gorgonzola.

“You have to be a romantic to invest yourself, your money, and your time in cheese.” Anthony Bourdain

And we did add about $12 of pecorino to this pasta dish for 3 people.

Worth every dollar.

A true investment for our souls.

We’ve actually been watching a lot of old Anthony Bourdain cooking shows where he went around to the less touristy areas, he did a whole episode in Ostia where Damiano is from.

Watching these shows reminds us of why we love pasta so much because it represents this big mindset shift for us. It’s this mindset shift and relationship shift with food that has changed everything for us both.

For so many years, food was the enemy, this thing that would make us fat or keep us skinny.

We never got to truly enjoy great food because while we were eating it we’d be thinking about the kgs we were going to gain or the workout we’d need to do to burn the calories. We’d restrict our diets so much through the week that when it came to the weekend we’d binge and not even enjoy the food because we’d make ourselves feel sick from overeating. It took many years to create a healthy relationship with food and really we can thank these pasta recipes for the final healing steps.

Ok, back to the all’Amatriciana recipe.

If you make it share a droolworthy pic on Instagram!

Always merrymaking,

Emma + Carla

Bucatini all'Amatriciana

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Servings: 4


For the pasta

  • 1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 200 g guanciale sliced thickly or pancetta
  • 1/2 tsp. chilli flakes
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 600 g jar of passata
  • 400 g bucatini spaghetti or penne also work
  • 1/2 cup pasta water
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • salt


  • Heat a little olive oil in a large pan on medium-high heat. Add the chilli and guanciale, saute until the guanciale begins to get translucent.
  • Add the white wine, allow the alcohol to cook off, this will take a few minutes.
  • Add the passata and reduce the heat to low, stirring occasionally, cook until sauce thickens, this will take about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, while the sauce cooks, bring a large pot of water to boil. Season with salt and add the pasta. Stir occasionally, and cook until 2 minutes before the packet says, this will make your pasta Al dente. Drain but keep 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
  • Add the drained pasta to the sauce and stir. If the sauce is too thick add a little pasta water and stir until sauce coats pasta nicely.
  • Serve onto plates and top pasta with cheese. Buon Appetito!


Feel free to swap the bottled passata for fresh tomatoes! They might need extra cooking. Yum.
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