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Amatriciana Sauce

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 55 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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1 tablespoon olive oil

4 ounces pancetta or bacon, thinly sliced 

1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced 

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 

2 pinches crushed red pepper 

One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, crushed, with juices

Kosher salt

About 1 pound of your favorite pasta

3 tablespoons finely grated Pecorino-Romano or Parmesan, plus more for serving 


  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until browned and the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  2. Add the onions to the skillet and saute until translucent, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper (a generous pinch if you like spicy). Cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and use a wooden spoon to break up any large pieces. Add the pancetta back to the skillet. Add salt and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Bring to a low simmer, cover and cook until the flavors have melded and the sauce is slightly thickened, 20 to 30 minutes. 
  3. While the sauce cooks, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season generously with salt. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Stir 1/2 cup of the pasta water into the sauce (skip this step if using gluten-free pasta), then drain the pasta. Add the pasta and cheese to the sauce and toss to coat. Serve with additional cheese.
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