Bucatini all'Amatriciana, a beloved classic in Italian cuisine, boasts a rich history dating back to the 18th century. In those bygone days, humble shepherds crafted a simple sauce from guanciale (cured pork cheek), cheese, and black pepper. Over time, this hearty and flavourful combination underwent a transformation, giving rise to the Amatriciana sauce we cherish today.

Today, the heart of Bucatini all'Amatriciana lies in the flavourful sauce, using guanciale, tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and Pecorino Romano cheese. The guanciale provides a rich, smoky depth of flavour, while the tomatoes add sweet, tangy notes balanced out by the heat of red pepper flakes.

Amatriciana originates from the picturesque town of Amatrice in Italy's Lazio region. When preparing this dish, the ideal choice of pasta is bucatini, a thick spaghetti-like variety with a hollow centre, as it allows the savoury sauce to cling to the pasta. 

In this article, we'll guide you through the steps to create this mouthwatering classic, ensuring that your Bucatini all'Amatriciana is a delicious and authentic Italian culinary experience.

Our Bucatini all'Amatriciana recipe

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes
  • Calories per serving: 400-500


  • 350g bucatini pasta
  • 130g guanciale, diced
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 can (400g) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • Pecorino Romano cheese (for grating)
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
  • Salt and black pepper (to taste)


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the bucatini pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced guanciale and cook for 5-7 minutes until crispy and golden.
  3. Add the red onion and garlic to the skillet. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until the onion becomes translucent and wonderfully fragrant.
  4. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and red pepper flakes and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Simmer the sauce for 10-12 minutes, allowing it to thicken and the flavours to meld.
  5. Add the cooked bucatini to the skillet with the sauce. Toss until the pasta is well coated.
  6. Divide the Bucatini all'Amatriciana among four plates. Grate Pecorino Romano cheese on top and garnish with chopped fresh parsley.
  7. Serve immediately while it's piping hot and enjoy your delicious Bucatini all'Amatriciana! Buon appetito!

What’s the difference between Amatriciana and Arrabiata?

Amatriciana and Arrabbiata are Italian pasta sauces with distinct differences.

Amatriciana, features guanciale, Pecorino Romano cheese, tomatoes, and black pepper. It's not super spicy, but gets a little kick from the pepper.

Arrabbiata, on the other hand, is the more fiery option, with its name meaning "angry" in Italian. It contains tomatoes, garlic, and red chilli peppers, making it hot and spicy.

While Amatriciana originates from Lazio and pairs well with bucatini or spaghetti, Arrabbiata lacks a specific regional origin and complements various different pasta types.

So, to sum it up, Amatriciana is all about the mild and savoury, while Arrabbiata brings a little heat and spice to the table. Both are delicious with pasta.

Which wines pair well with Bucatini all'Amatriciana?

When selecting wines to pair with Bucatini all'Amatriciana, you'll want to consider the sauce's ingredients.

A medium-bodied Italian red wine like Montepulciano pairs well with the tomato-based sauce and the saltiness of Pecorino cheese. Its acidity and red fruit notes complement the dish. Alternatively, A crisp wine like a Pinot Grigio can work surprisingly well with pasta dishes like Bucatini all'Amatriciana, cutting nicely through the richness of the sauce.

Ultimately, the choice of wine is a matter of personal preference. Red wines are often the traditional choice, but if you enjoy sparkling or rosé wines and find them to complement the dish to your liking, there's no strict rule against it!

For more delicious recipes and culinary inspiration, be sure to check out our collection. From Italian classics to international favourites, there's something for every palate.

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