Bucatini all’Amatriciana

August 4, 2022

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Bucatini all’Amatriciana – A hearty and satisfying Italian dish made with bucatini pasta, rich pancetta or guanciale (an Italian pork), sharp Pecorino Romano cheese, and bright San Marzano tomatoes. It’s so simple to make and sure to satisfy those carb-y cravings!

Bucatini with amatriciana sauce in a white serving bowl with parmesan cheese and parsley garnish.

What is Bucatini?

Bucatini is a long, tubular, straw-like pasta that’s made from durum wheat flour. It’s similar to spaghetti but thicker because it has that hollow center running through it’s entire length.

It is a popular pasta in Rome, Italy. It is said to originate from the city of Amatrice. It’s name comes from the Italian word “buco”, which in English translates to “hole.”

Can you imagine the labor of love to create the handmade version of this pasta by wrapping individual pieces of dough around a thin rod (known as a ferretto) and rolling it thin?

For this recipe the commercially made, store-bought pasta will definitely do.

I think you will love this specialty pasta, and the fun change it is from your typical spaghetti.

And hopefully you are able to track some down at your local grocer. It is the perfect base to this tomato-y amatriciana sauce!

Close up photo of bucatini all amatriciana.

Bucatini all’Amatriciana Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 oz. pancetta or guanciale, diced into tiny cubes (about 1/4-inch)
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion (1 small)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1 (28 oz) can San Marzano tomatoes, finely crushed in a bowl with your hands
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 16 oz. dry bucatini pasta
  • 3/4 cup finely shredded Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 Tbsp minced parsley, for garnish (optional)

Ingredients needed to make amatriciana.

How to Make Bucatini Pasta with Amatriciana Sauce

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (to cook pasta).
  2. Saute the pork: Heat olive oil in a 12-inch saute pan over medium heat. Add pancetta and saute until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate while leaving fat in pan.
  3. Saute aromatics: Return pan with fat medium heat, add onion and saute 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute 20 seconds longer.
  4. Add liquids and seasonings, simmer: Pour in tomatoes, wine and red pepper flakes and season with pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low and let simmer about 15 to 20 minutes uncovered.
  5. Cook pasta: Meanwhile boil pasta to al dente according to package directions in very lightly salted water (I only add 1/2 tsp). Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water before draining pasta.
  6. Toss drained pasta with the finished sauce and the Romano cheese. Taste for salt (it shouldn’t need much because the pancetta is salty and the Romano). Thin with pasta water as needed.
  7. Serve right away garnished with parsley.

Collage of six images making amatriciana sauce. Collage of four photos showing steps of cooking bucatini pasta in a pot and tossing with sauce and parmesan cheese.

Possible Variations and Substitutes

  • In the U.S. and other countries outside of Italy it can be hard to track down pancetta or guanciale so if needed you could substitute bacon (just keep in mind it’s definitely not authentic).
  • One other ingredient you may have a hard time finding is actually the bucatini since it’s a specialty pasta. Linguini or spaghetti will work as well.
  • Garden fresh San Marzano tomatoes or even Roma tomatoes would be great here (instead of using canned). Just be sure to peel before using them and you crush them up in a food processor.
  • If using fresh tomatoes you will likely need to add a bit of tomato paste to thicken the sauce since there is no tomato puree included.
  • Red wine can be substituted for white wine in the dish or it can be omitted all together (because it isn’t traditional). I just like the extra hint of flavor it adds to the sauce.

Overhead photo of cooked bucatini pasta with tomato sauce.

More Tasty Pasta Recipes We Think You’ll Love

Bucatini with amatriciana sauce in a white serving bowl with parmesan cheese and parsley garnish.
5 from 1 vote

Bucatini all'Amatriciana

A hearty and satisfying Italian dish made with bucatini pasta, rich pancetta or guanciale (an Italian pork), sharp Pecorino Romano cheese, and bright San Marzano tomatoes. It's so simple to make and sure to satisfy those carb-y cravings!
Servings: 8
Prep15 minutes
Cook25 minutes
Ready in: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 oz. pancetta or guanciale, diced into tiny cubes (about 1/4-inch)
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion (1 small)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1 (28 oz) can San Marzano tomatoes, finely crushed in a bowl with your hands
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 16 oz. dry bucatini pasta
  • 3/4 cup finely shredded Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 Tbsp minced parsley, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. To cook pasta.
  • Heat olive oil in a 12-inch saute pan over medium heat. Add pancetta and saute until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate while leaving fat in pan.
  • Return pan with fat medium heat, add onion and saute 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute 20 seconds longer.
  • Pour in tomatoes, wine and red pepper flakes and season with pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low and let simmer about 15 to 20 minutes uncovered.
  • Meanwhile boil pasta to al dente according to package directions in very lightly salted water (I only add 1/2 tsp). Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water before draining pasta.
  • Toss drained pasta with the finished sauce and the Romano cheese. Taste for salt (it shouldn't need much because the pancetta is salty and the Romano). Thin with pasta water as needed.
  • Serve right away garnished with parsley.
Nutrition Facts
Bucatini all'Amatriciana
Amount Per Serving
Calories 391 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Trans Fat 0.03g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 20mg7%
Sodium 355mg15%
Potassium 437mg12%
Carbohydrates 50g17%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 477IU10%
Vitamin C 17mg21%
Calcium 116mg12%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.
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