Classic Amatriciana bucatini

Classic Amatriciana bucatini

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(14 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 20 mins


Serves 5 - 6
This southern Italian dish is made with just five ingredients - just use the best tomatoes and bacon you can find

Nutrition and extra info

  • Sauce can be frozen

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal747
  • fat28g
  • saturates13g
  • carbs86g
  • sugars15g
  • fibre7g
  • protein40g
  • salt3.47g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 2kg tomatoes - cherry, plum or ordinary - roughly chopped



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 250g smoked bacon, cut into strips, or cubetti di pancetta



    Bacon is pork that has been cured one of two ways: dry or wet. It can be bought as both rashers…

  • 2 small red chillies
  • 500g bag bucatini
  • 200g pecorino, grated


  1. Put the tomatoes into a food processor in batches and whizz to a fine pulp. Sieve into a large pan, in batches again, pressing through as much tomato as you can with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 20-30 mins until the sauce has reduced by a third to about 700ml. This homemade passata can now be frozen.

  2. Put the bacon or pancetta into a cold, large, heavy-based frying pan. Place over a medium heat – the fat will slowly melt and the bacon will cook. Add the whole chillies (don’t worry, they come out at the end) and cook for 8-10 mins with the bacon until the bacon is sizzling and golden all over. Stir in the tomato sauce, bring to the boil and simmer for 4-5 mins.

  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta, then drain well. While still hot, tip it into the sauce, sprinkle with most of the cheese and stir well. Remove the whole chillies, dish the pasta onto plates and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

You may also like

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
30th Dec, 2016
This is not the classic recipe. I was born in Rieti, the main town in the province where Amatrice is (the exact place where the sauce has been invented). First the "passata" recipe is definitely wrong. You can use canned plum tomatoes, they work fine or the Italian passata you can find in every supermarket. Second the guanciale (or pancetta lardons if you can't find it) should be fried in a little of extra virgin olive oil with a whole bird eye chilli pepper. Add a splash of white wine and let it cook until the alcohol has evaporated. Take out the guanciale and set aside in a bowl big enough to contain the pasta, covering with cling film so the meat is kept moist. Third, cook the pasta in salted water. Use sea salt flakes, in a big saucepan. If you use the normal salt, you need to put it more. Fourth, in the same pan with all the guanciale juices, add the passata and cook until it thickens, taste it and if the passata is a little bit too acid add a teaspoon of sugar to balance it, then pour the tomato sauce over the guanciale in the bowl. Fifth, drain the pasta and tip into the sauce, sprinkling with abundant pecorino cheese and serve immediately. Other reciped than this one are mere interpretations, not the classic version. If you know a little of Italian I suggest you to give a look to the original recipe posted on the local city council of Amatrice web page at this address
26th Aug, 2016
I always make Amatriciana Bucatini with pork cheeks, not bacon. That's how I learned to make it from an Italian recipe.
14th Feb, 2016
Made it with shop-bought (flavoured) passata and Parmigiano as could not find Pecorino. Turned out fine, although I did add a glass or red wine to the sauce to improve the depth of flavour and also added back most of the (chopped) chilli to turn up the heat a notch.
20th Jul, 2015
I think the recipe is not quite right. If you use 2 kg tomatoes, you probably have to reduce the liquid by two thirds, not one third as stated. It looks like proper passata if you do this. Also, seasoning with salt, pepper and sugar will bring out the flavour.
30th May, 2013
Very nice and simple. Works just as well with ready made passata and Parmesan.
2nd Nov, 2012
31st Oct, 2012
Just made this as was a little disappointed. There was no depth to the tomato sauce. I have made it with carton passata which is nicer and less work.
31st Oct, 2012
Oh, I meant random, of course.
31st Oct, 2012
I used canned tomatoes and chilli powder (I quite overused chilli powder, so it has an effect of gun powder:)), also I used some randomness cheese from the fridge, nevertheless the sauce turned out really good.
30th Oct, 2012
Made this tonight and found the sauce to be very bland and watery. I added some shop bought passata, Worcester sauce & a few herbs. The finished result was superb. I will certainly make this again but with the changes.


Be the first to ask a question about this recipe...Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved...
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.