Bucatini all’Amatriciana

Bucatini all’Amatriciana is an easy pasta recipe with pancetta and a spicy tomato sauce that takes less than 30 minutes to make. Add some bucatini, and you get a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

close-up shot of the final dish in a skillet.

Like most Italian dishes, bucatini all’amatriciana is simple. So simple, in fact, that you can make it in about 20 minutes from start to finish with just a handful of ingredients. Like other quick pasta recipes, this bucatini recipe is my favorite kind of homemade fast food.

Ingredients for the recipe.

Recipe Notes

My bucatini all’Amatriciana recipe strays from other classic versions, which call for whole plum tomatoes, guanciale, and pecorino cheese. I swap out some of these and add a couple other ingredients, but the result is the same: a spicy tomato sauce tossed with tender pasta.

  • Bucatini pasta is a long pasta shape that’s thicker than spaghetti. Most grocery stores have it, but you can substitute any long pasta (like spaghetti, fettuccine, or linguini) if you can’t find it.
  • Look for diced pancetta at the store (usually near the deli), similar to guanciale. They’re both a type of uncured pork but are from different parts of the pig (guanciale is from the cheeks, and pancetta is from the belly).
  • Instead of whole plum tomatoes, I like to use tomato puree because it’s easier to open the can and pour it in – you don’t have to break up the tomatoes while they cook. If you’re feeling adventurous, check out my homemade tomato puree recipe and make your own for this recipe.
  • To make this really easy, you don’t have to make your own sauce. Just substitute your favorite jarred marinara sauce. I’ve added a note about this in the recipe card.

How to Make It

I love this recipe because during the time it takes to boil the pasta, you can prepare the sauce. So, get your pasta going in a big pot of boiling water, and while it cooks, make the sauce in a separate pan. You’ll be twirling pasta onto your fork in less than 30 minutes!


| Carbonara | Arrabbiata Pasta | Fettucine Alfredo | Penne Vodka | Pasta Aglio e Olio |


Bucatini all’Amatriciana

close-up shot of the final dish in a skillet.

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 2 reviews

This is a quick and easy pasta dish for two with simple ingredients and a little kick of heat from some crushed red pepper flakes. Bring the pasta water to a boil while you prep the ingredients for the sauce and, once you add the pasta to cook, the sauce comes together by the time the pasta is tender.

  • Author: April Anderson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Sautee
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • 5 ounces bucatini
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces diced pancetta
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste (see note)
  • 3/4 cup tomato puree
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the bucatini and cook according to package directions.
  2. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until it renders it’s fat and starts to turn crispy. Add the onions, garlic, and crushed red pepper and cook them for a minute or so, just until the garlic is fragrant.
  3. Add the tomato puree and water and stir to combine. Increase the heat to bring the sauce to a simmer. Simmer the sauce while you wait for the pasta to finish cooking.
  4. Add the balsamic vinegar to the sauce and stir to combine. Add the cooked pasta and toss it in the sauce until the pasta is evenly coated. To serve, top each serving with the grated cheese and chopped parsley.


A 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes add a nice kick of heat. Start with less if you’re worried about the amount of heat – you can always add more after you give the sauce a taste before serving.

If you want to use jarred marinara sauce, just cook the pancetta in the oil, add the sauce, simmer, and then continue with the recipe as written.

Recipe adapted from Food Network


  • Serving Size: 1/2 of recipe
  • Calories: 409
  • Sugar: 7.8g
  • Sodium: 1105.4mg
  • Fat: 25.6g
  • Saturated Fat: 11.5g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 4.3g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 67.9g
  • Fiber: 4.5g
  • Protein: 23.1g
  • Cholesterol: 47.2mg

Do you love this recipe? Don’t forget to leave a comment and your recipe star rating!

The nutrition is an estimate only. It was calculated using Nutrifox, an online nutrition calculator.

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What does amatriciana mean?

Like many Italian dishes, the name refers to the place where the dish originated. In this case, the town of Amatrice, which is located in central Italy.

tongs lifting some of the pasta and sauce out of the pan.

Recipe Tips

You can easily adjust this recipe, too. Love garlic? Add more to your taste (or try using roasted garlic). Want more spice? Add some more red pepper flakes to amp up the heat level.

two process photos showing how to cook the pancetta and vegetables in the sauce.

You can also prepare the sauce ahead, refrigerate it in an airtight container (or freeze it!) to have on hand for fast dinners during the week. The sauce will keep in the fridge for several days or in the freezer for a few months.

two photos showing how to finish the sauce and add the pasta.

This recipe makes enough for two people, but you can easily double or triple it to serve more. I love it with a crisp green salad and some garlic toast on the side.

overhead shot of bucatini all'amatriciana in a skillet.

Serve this bucatini all’amatriciana in bowls or straight from the pan – I won’t judge.

Happy cooking!

overhead shot of bucatini all'amatriciana in a white bowl.

More Easy Dinner Recipes

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This Amatriciana recipe has been updated from the archives. It was first published in October 2014.


  1. I am a huge lover of pasta dishes and this here recipe sounds absolutely delicious! I love all the simple ingredients that you used to create this! thank you for the wonderful recipe 🙂

  2. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of pecorino romana to the sauce and use fire roasted canned tomatoes, can’t go wrong! Mangia

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