Bucatini all’Amatriciana is a flavorful sauce made with staple ingredients in just 30 minutes! This sauce is simple, spicy, slightly salty and served on a beautiful bed of bucatini.

It starts with simmering San Marzano tomatoes, fresh onion and garlic. A dash of red pepper and guanciale, pancetta, prosciutto or bacon create a rich, savory Amatriciana sauce. Serve with your favorite pasta and top it off with fresh grated parmesan cheese.

This hearty recipe is a family favorite, serving 4-6 people.

A skillet with amatriciana sauce-coated bucatini pasta.
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My family loved how flavorful this is!! And I love that it is so easy to make!

– Toni –

Ingredient Substitutions and Variations

Ingredients for amatriciana sauce arranged on a white surface, including canned tomatoes, onion, black pepper, cheese, olive oil, diced bacon, and garlic.
  • Guanciale – Guanciale, Pancetta, Prosciutto or Bacon add delicious salty flavor and protein. Chop or cube for the best texture.
  • Yellow Onion – Yellow onion is preferred, but red or white onion also work well in this dish.
  • Garlic – Fresh minced garlic adds amazing flavor, but can be substituted with store-bought.
  • Peeled Tomatoes – Canned San Marzano tomatoes are my go to for this simple sauce, but fresh tomatoes or puréed tomatoes too.
  • Pasta – Bucatini is a hollow noodle that soaks up the sauce inside and out, but you can substitute with spaghetti or the noodle of your choice.
  • Cheese – Fresh grated parmesan or pecorino romano top off this delightful dish.
A white plate of bucatini all'amatriciana, alongside a gold fork on a light blue napkin.

Test Kitchen Tips

  • Bucatini all’Amatriciana is a quick sauce. Watch carefully to avoid overcooking it, eliminating moisture.
  • For a smoother sauce, use puréed tomatoes or chop before adding them to the pan.
bucatini all'amatriciana in a skillet.
bucatini all'amatriciana in a skillet.
5 from 6 votes
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Bucatini all’Amatriciana

Spice it up with Bucatini all’Amatriciana! This savory sauce is rich and flavorful, traditionally served with bucatini to soak up the sauce. Make this simple sauce with staple ingredients in less than 30 minutes!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 6
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  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 pound pasta


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ pound guanciale cut into ¼" cubes
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 28 ounces San Marzano peeled tomatoes chopped or pureéd
  • ¼ cup parmesan freshly grated


  • Fill a large pot with water and add 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil.
    1 tablespoon salt
  • In a skillet over medium heat, add extra virgin olive oil and guanicale. Stirring occasionally, cook approximately 3 minutes, until golden brown.
    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, ¼ pound guanciale
  • Add chopped onion, stirring occasionally until just tender, about 3 minutes. Watching carefully to prevent it from burning, add garlic and continuously stir, approximately 15-30 seconds.
    1 large yellow onion, 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Using a wooden spatula or spoon, scrape the pan to release bits and coating for maximum flavor. Stir in tomatoes and crushed red pepper flakes. Reduce to a simmer on medium-low heat.
    Use a wood spoon or spatula to break up the tomatoes to achieve the desired consistency and uncovered about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    28 ounces San Marzano peeled tomatoes, 1¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    A wooden spoon stirring onions in amatriciana sauce in a stainless steel skillet on a stove.
  • Meanwhile, when water comes to a rolling boil, add pasta, stirring occasionally and boil until the noodle is slightly undercooked.
    Reserve ¼ cup pasta water. Using tongs or a pasta spoon, transfer pasta into pan and toss. Add pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time and toss to emulsify until you achieve the desired thickness and noodles are al dente.
    1 pound pasta
    A pot of cooked bucatini pasta with a wooden spoon stirring it on a stove.
  • Remove from heat and serve with fresh grated parmesan to garnish.
    ¼ cup parmesan
    bucatini all'amatriciana in a skillet.

Julie’s Tips

Be careful not to overcook to prevent the sauce from losing moisture.
Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water to toss pasta in sauce 1 tablespoon at a time to help sauce coat the pasta and add moisture. 


  • Guanciale, Pancetta, Prosciutto or Bacon – Whatever you have on hand or easy access to. I prefer chopped/chunks for the best bite.
  • Olive Oil – Extra Virgin Olive Oil is my go to for sauces. In a pinch you can substitute canola oil or butter.
  • Onion – Yellow, Red or White all work well.
  • Peeled Tomatoes – Canned tomatoes make this dish effortless, but you can substitute fresh. For a smoother sauce, chop or purée.
  • Parmesan – Fresh grated cheese offers the best flavor and texture. Pecorino also lends itself well to this dish.

Storage Notes

Store in an airtight container refrigerated up to 3 days. To reheat, warm in oven or on the stovetop with a drizzle of olive oil or butter to refresh the sauce.


Serving: 4g | Calories: 489kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 431mg | Potassium: 474mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 312IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 2mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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