This authentic amatriciana sauce recipe is super easy to make and makes a perfect dish to eat with your family. Enjoy the pleasure of sweet tomato sauce with a fatty guanciale that melts in your mouth. All this enjoyment is just 30 minutes away.
Why you'll love it
- Easy to make.
- Insanely good.
- Perfect for a relaxed meal with friends or family.
The amatriciana sauce pasta dish is by far my favorite Roman dish, along with this chicken cooked with tomatoes, red peppers until soft and juicy. It is so tender that it will melt into your mouth. Make sure to prepare enough bread to dip it into the sauce. So scrumptious.
The amatriciana sauce recipe is quintessential of Roman cuisine, it has different layers of flavor that explode into your mouth at every bite. You have the sweetness made from the tomatoes and the onion, the depth of flavor of guanciale sweet and savory, and to finish the sharpness of pecorino cheese.
Where the authentic amatriciana sauce recipe is from?
The origin of the amatriciana is quite vague, and as many food history experts say, it didn't born in Amatrice but in Rome at the end of the 17th century. This sauce is a fancy elaboration of another Roman pasta dish called Gricia and at the end of the 17th century, tomatoes were added to it, creating the Amatriciana. Or as Roman says "matriciana" which means "a place where to eat" since many hosts of Rome were originally from Amatrice.
The first amatriciana recipe is documented in a book of Roman cuisine by Ada Boni of 1927. The listed ingredients were onion, guanciale from Amatrice, tomatoes, and pecorino romano. However, it is only recently that the onion is left off, creating a false myth.
If you are in Rome on holiday, I recommend stopping by Sora maria e Arcangelo, an amazing restaurant outside Rome. Here you will find the best amatriciana in the Region, not to mention the other dishes that are to die for. Believe me, it is definitely worth the journey.
The ingredients to make this authentic amatriciana sauce recipe are simple. However, to achieve the best flavor, it is essential to choose the best products that you can find.
Onion- is finely cut and saute with the guanciale and the olive oil.
Guanciale- is the cheek (guancia, in Italian) of the pig, cured with spices, garlic, and salt. It has a deeply sweet and savory flavor, completely different from the bacon. In Roman cuisine, the guanciale is used in many pasta dishes.
Olive oil- use extra virgin olive oil in the sauce.
Wine- use dry white wine for this recipe. The wine deglazes the guanciale balancing the fat of it.
Tomatoes- use pure canned sweet cherry tomatoes and some passata to make the sauce.
Pecorino cheese- is a sheep’s milk cheese with a quite sharp taste. This cheese is the staple of Roman cuisine and gives a sapidity to the dish.
Pasta- use bucatini. It is a type of dry pasta similar to spaghetti but has a hole in the middle meaning the sauce will be trapped inside making it even more appetizing.
Salt- the sauce is already salty as the guanciale and the Pecorino are high in sapidity. Don't exceed the amount of salt, just follow my tip. We don't want a salty pasta dish, right?
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTION*
*Note: this is just a quick introduction. Please read the recipe card for the full instructions.
This scrumptious authentic amatriciana recipe is ready in just 30 minutes and you will see how simple is to put together. Let's see how is prepared.
Prepare the base
Cut the onion into small cubes and slice the guanciale into long strings. Add the olive oil, the onion, and the guanciale into a medium frying pan. Let saute' for 18 minutes at medium heat.
Once the guanciale is crispy and golden pour the wine in it. Let the alcohol evaporate* for a few minutes.
*Tip: the alcohol will evaporate when you no longer feel a pungent aroma in your nose.
Pour the cherry tomatoes into the frying pan and let them cook for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally and add the salt. Now, add the passata into the frying pan and cook it for 10 minutes until reduced slightly.
Cook the Pasta
In the meantime bring the water* to boil into a tall stockpot, and add the pasta once the water is boiling.
*Note: I don't recommend adding salt into the water, as the sauce is already quite salty.
Cook the pasta until al dente*.
*Tip: to achieve pasta al dente, follow the recommendation on the packet. Usually, there are indicate two different cooking times, choose the lower number. If you find just one cooking time then cook the pasta for two minutes less than the advised time.
Combine the sauce with the pasta
Just before draining the pasta, set aside two soup ladle spoons of water from the cooked pasta into a cup to use later. Drain the pasta and add it into the sauce with a handful of grated pecorino Romano. Mix together with the water from the cooked pasta for a few minutes on medium heat until combined*.
*Note: don't overcook it otherwise the sauce will dry up. We want the sauce to be slightly watery.
Serve the pasta with a generous handful of grated Pecorino Romano. Buon appetito!
Pasta- the most popular pasta used for this authentic amatriciana recipe in Rome is tonnarelli. A long thin pasta, similar to spaghetti alla chitarra. Moreover, in Rome, we use short pasta like rigatoni or mezze maniche.
Tomatoes- during summertime I love swapping the tin cherry tomatoes with the fresh ones. Just slice the cherry tomatoes in half and let them cook until are soft, then add the passata. Another alternative would be to use the canned peeled plum or San Marzano tomatoes in the sauce instead of the cherry tomatoes.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the difference between arrabiata and amatriciana?
Arrabiata is a spicy tomato sauce, prepared with garlic, red chilly peppers, tomatoes, and olive oil. While the amatriciana is not spicy.
Can be made ahead?
Yes, absolutely. You can definitely prepare the sauce the day before. Then, store the sauce in an airtight container in the fridge once it cooled off. The next day just heats up the sauce and cook the pasta.
How to store the leftover?
Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Can I freeze the amatriciana sauce?
Yes, of course. Store the sauce in a container with a lid. When needing it, remove the container from the freezer and let it defrost in the fridge for at least 12 hours. Then warm it up on the stove for 5 minutes at medium heat.
More delicious Italian recipe
Authentic amatriciana recipe
- Medium frying pan
- Tall stockpot
- Chopping board
- Soup ladle spoon
- 2 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- 200 gr guanciale
- 100 gr onion
- 90 ml white wine dry
- 400 gr cherry tomatoes in tin
- ½ teaspoon salt maldon
- 150 gr passata
- 320 gr bucatini pasta
- 110 gr Pecorino Romano grated
- Cut the onion into small cubes. Trim the thick skin from the bottom of the guanciale and the top seasoning layer. Slice the guanciale into long strings.
- Add the onion, the guanciale, and the olive oil to a medium frying pan. Let saute' for 18 minutes at medium heat. Once the guanciale is crispy and golden, pour the wine. Let the alcohol evaporate for a few minutes.
- Pour the cherry tomatoes into the frying pan and let them cook for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally and then add the salt.
- In the meantime bring the water to boil into a tall stockpot. Once the water is boiling add the pasta. I don't recommend adding salt into the water, as the sauce is already quite salty.
- Cook the pasta until al dente. To achieve pasta al dente follow the recommendation on the packet. Usually, there are two different cooking times, choose the lower number. If there is just one cooking time, cook the pasta for two minutes less than the advised time.
- Now, add the passata into the frying pan and cook it for 10 minutes until reduced slightly.
- Just before draining the pasta, set aside two soup ladle spoons of water from the cooked pasta into a cup to use later. Drain the pasta and add it into the sauce with a handful of grated pecorino Romano. Mix together with the water from the cooked pasta for a few minutes on medium heat until combined.Don't overcook it otherwise the sauce will dry up. We want the sauce to be slightly watery.
- Serve the pasta immediately with a generous handful of grated Pecorino Romano. Buon appetito!
MAKING THIS? I'D LOVE TO SEE IT!
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This is now a staple recipe in my home! Delicious and surprisingly easy to make. Thank you Fede! x
I am so happy you liked it and that it becomes a staple dish in your home.
Thank you Anna for stopping by to leave a comment.
The perfect lunch! Recipe and photos are incredible
This was sooooo good! Putting this on my meal planning list cause I need more!
The beauty of these photographs is what sold me. This recipe tastes as good as it looks. So flavorful and comforting.
Guess what I am having for lunch today? Your wonderful recipe. My husband saw me reading the recipe and wanted to have it right the way. Looks amazing.
What a delicious lunch you had then! 😉
PLEASE american measurements!!!
I have never heard of cherry tomatoes in a tin. Where would you find these? If I can’t, what would be the best substitute? Thank you.
Hello Kristi, so happy to have you here. If you are from the UK you can find them in any supermarket or Italian shop, usually next to
canned tomatoes. Otherwise, you can certainly use the San Marzano tomatoes canned or Pelati tomatoes instead.
Thank you for stopping by.