Bucatini all' Amatriciana
========================= 2019-02-07

Comment: The bucatini are long pasta like spaghetti, but a little bigger and with a hole. As they are not too easy to eat (not to mention difficult to find) they can be replaced by spaghetti, or even better fusilli which will give more support to the sauce.
The guanciale is pork cheek prepared with herbs, salt and dried. It's very fatty, but a noble and tasty fat. For a good description see Guanciale. As it's not easy to find, I use pancetta, usually homemade to replace. In this case you should use less because the pancetta is quite salty.
For pasta cooking, use the rule of 1-10-100: for 100 g of pasta (per person) use 1 l cooking water and 10 g salt. However, since Pecorino Romano and pancetta are salted, I suggest to use only half the salt for pasta, i. e. 5 g per litre. In case of use of guanciale, which is less salty, one can use up to 6 to 7 g of salt per liter, Finally, the onion is not part of the original recipe, but I like to use it here.

2 persons


200 g of bucatini (or spaghetti or penne rigate or fusilli)
150+ g guanciale or 100 g pancetta
1 can crushed peeled tomatoes (400 g)
50 g finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
20 cl dry white wine
1 small dried chilli pepper or pepper flakes (opt)
1 onion (see text)
S + P


Cut the pancetta into very thin lardons.
(to help melt the fat).
Brown the pancetta at rather high temperature, then on lower heat, the chopped onion with a little EVOO (without oil if you have guanciale).
Deglaze with the wine, then let it reduce to ~1/4.
Add tomatoes, chilli pepper (opt) and pepper generously.
Simmer for 10 minutes.

Cook the pasta normally. Set aside a little pasta cooking water.

Drain the pasta, pour over the sauce and add the cheese. Mix well.
If necessary (not enough liquid) add a little water from the pasta to obtain a creamy sauce.