A deep dive into my Amatriciana. One of theee best pasta recipes - I ate this in Rome at the famed Roscioli and SantoPalato and honestly this tastes just as good.

Pancetta tip: Make sure you don't get hot smoked pancetta. It shouldn’t be the colour of bacon. I haven’t found the right pancetta at Coles or Woolies, but you will find it at almost every Italian supermarket/deli/butcher. 


  • 400g pasta (I love bucatini, spaghetti, rigatoni or spirals)
  • 250g pancetta or guanciale*
  • 700g tomato passata (puréed tomatoes)**
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 75g grated pecorino or Parmesan


  1. Boil a large pot of water for the pasta. When boiling, throw in a generous pinch of salt and boil your pasta.
  2. Prepare your pancetta/guanciale. You want it in lardons around 5mm wide.
  3. Heat a large pan on medium-low heat. Fry the pancetta with a drizzle of olive oil until the fat has melted and it’s sizzled into golden brown, crispy pieces.
  4. Add tomato passata and chilli flakes and simmer on low for around 10 mins.
  5. Turn off the heat and stir through your pecorino or Parmesan bit by bit until it is incorporated and the sauce has become creamy. Set aside until pasta is ready.
  6. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling water until al dente. Reserve a cup of the cooking water before straining.
  7. Add the pasta into the sauce, loosening with some cooking water.
  8. Taste and season and serve with more cheese.

1 comment

I just had to reach out and say this has become an absolute fave in our household, I am making it almost fortnightly, sometimes with pancetta, sometimes with guanciale and sometimes with speck – depends on what delightfulness I have on hand. Absolute chefs kiss recipe thank you!


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