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Amatriciana Recipe

Bucatini all'Amatriciana is delicious and simple to make. It's a spicy bacon and tomato sauce that can be served over any pasta.

Amatriciana Sauce
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Ingredients in Amatriciana Sauce

olive oil

pancetta or smoked bacon 

red pepper flakes 


red bell pepper 


red wine 

good quality tinned tomatoes - I use Cirio

dried oregano

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

balsamic vinegar 

Freshly grated Pecorino or Parmesan to serve

Recipe Tip!

Yes, I know, bell pepper isn't a usual ingredient in amatriciana sauce, but I think they add colour and a little more sweetness. 

I use Maldon sea salt flakes as they really are the best - if they are good enough for Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay they are good enough for me! 

A quick word on Tinned Tomatoes and Balsamic Vinegar:

I know I go on about tinned tomatoes, but it really is worth buying good quality ones.

I used to use Napolina but that was until I discovered the brand Cirio - oh my goodness they are far better.

There actually isn't much in the way of juice as it's so thick. Any tomato-based sauces you make will only be as good as the tinned tomatoes you use and some brands are so watery, they are plain horrid.

Balsamic vinegar is another ingredient that is worth spending a bit on if you can. Again, some are watery and pretty much tasteless - you really want a nice thick balsamic. 

Food & Wine magazine says balsamic is the king of vinegars, and that the older a bottle is, the more expensive it is. The quality of balsamic matters; its sweet and syrupy flavour is almost impossible to reproduce any other way.

Bucatini Pasta

You can buy bucatini pasta in any good supermarket. Bucatini has a hole running through the centre and is particularly common in Rome. For this recipe, you can of course use whichever past you prefer. You can also use bucatini in the Greek dish Pastitsio.

Amatriciana Sauce

Heat up the oil in a large frying pan and fry the bacon until cooked, then remove with a slotted spoon and set it aside.

Bacon strips frying in a pan

Without washing the pan, add the onion and bell pepper. Cook over low-medium heat until they are nice and soft but not coloured.

While that's happening cook the pasta in salted water as per packet instructions.

Peppers and onions frying

Now add the wine and cook for a few minutes to reduce.

Add the tomatoes including the juice, garlic, red pepper flakes and oregano and heat until bubbling.

Add the bacon back in, and cook over medium heat, adding a splash of the pasta water (this will help thicken the sauce) and cook for about another 15 minutes or so.

Add a splash of balsamic vinegar to the sauce, stir and have a taste - season with salt and black pepper.

Amatriciana Sauce

Adjust seasoning and serve with the cooked pasta and top with a good sprinkling of Pecorino or Parmesan. Oh, and I added the obligatory food bloggers chopped flat leaf parsley!

Amatriciana Pasta

Bucatini Amatriciana

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