Amatriciana Pasta Sauce

I went on a bit of a food book splurge the other day in Eason’s, picking up a paperback copy of Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italy, a lovely River Cottage Every Day book and a Greek cookbook (Ben?? Are you living in my mind?!?).  I’m feeling back on the cooking bus and hope to try lots of new recipes over the coming weeks.

I also grabbed a copy of the April/May issue of the Jamie Oliver Magazine.  I’ve bought five issues altogether, and I’ve used at least three recipes out of each one, which isn’t bad for €5.95.  I mean, I know recipes are free on-line but it’s nice to have something to leaf through at a lazy moment, especially as I don’t go in for the usual ladies’ magazines.

Lovely smoked garlic and bucatini pasta from Fallon & Byrne

The latest issue is an Italian Special, which is very exciting indeed.  It’s got loads of stunning looking recipes for risottos, seafood dishes, puddings and countless ideas for Pasta Sauces.

The below recipe for Amatriciana Sauce caught my eye and I whipped it up for a quick and delicious mid-week meal.  It was bleedin’ gorgeous, as they say in the little known Italian region of Rialto.

What you need for Jamie Oliver’s Amatriciana Sauce for 2*

*The recipe in the magazine said it served 4.  Now, I know myself and Niall have quite large appetites but we’re not that gluttonous.  I believe these measurements are better suited to 2.

1 large onion, finely chopped

150g pancetta, diced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (I used some lovely smoked garlic from Fallon & Byrne)

100ml White Wine 

10 fresh tomatoes, peeled, dessed and chopped  OR 1 x 400g of Tinned Tomatoes

1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes or 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and  finely chopped

Bucatini pasta (spaghetti or linguini is totally fine if you can’t find Bucatini)

Grated Pecorino or Parmesan, to serve

Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.  Add the diced onion and fry for 3 minutes.  Then add the garlic and pancetta, fry for a further 5 minutes.

Next, add your white wine.  Cook until all the wine has evaporated – about 5/10 minutes (this part took me longer as I used too much wine!).  Don’t be tempted to move on too quickly from this stage – be sure that the wine has completely evaporated, stirring constantly.  The onions will be translucent and almost creamy looking at this stage.

Once the wine has completely evaporated, add your tomatoes and chilli.  Season generously with sea salt.  Simmer over a low heat for about 30 minutes, or until sauce has thickened.

The bucatini pasta (which I found in Fallon & Byrne) takes around 13 minutes to cook.  Once your sauce is beginning to thicken, cook your pasta according to packet instructions.

Serve it all together with some grated cheese on top.  Delicious!


While I was cooking, I was listening to Dâm-Funk’s Toeachizown album.  Follow the link to find my favourite track Mirrors on The Hype Machine.

Mirrors by Dam Funk on The Hype Machine

Categories: Dinner, Lunch Tags:


  1. Ooh. Have to make this. It’s Colette’s favourite pasta sauce.

  2. there is nothing nicer than spaghetti and homemade tomato sauce – my dad does an awesome one. How was the smoked garlic – I’ve never used it before

  3. The real Amatriciana doesn’t use garlic and onion, and it doesn’t use Pancetta, but Guanciale (which is a different cut from pork) ;-)

  4. Last thing: the original one it doesn’t use Bucatini, but normal spaghetti

    • Ooh actually they did mention the Guanciale in the original recipe, not sure if I’d be able to find that over here in Dublin! Thanks for the tips on the authenticity of the recipe. I have to say I preferred the Bucatini!

  5. Well, guanciale in english is the jowl of the pig, maybe you shold ask this to the butcher?

    • Ahhhh cool – I will ask! I guess I just assumed from the name that it was an Italian cut. I will try to seek it out, as I’ll be making this sauce again, for sure, was delicious. Even with the pancetta, garlic and onion :) Thanks for the tips!

    • Pig cheek. You can get it in Dublin from the right butcher! It’s a LOT cheaper than ham, and really, really delicious.

  6. Well, everybody doing their version, even mine it’s different ;-)
    But I just wanted to clarify how the “original” recipe was, that’s it!

  7. Don’t even tink about me-treecheein’ me fookin’ Anna, ye bollix.

  8. Oooh, amatriciana. Now there’s something I haven’t had in a while.

    Although I’ve only ever really had it with some rigatoni pasta…

    • Mmmm Rigatoni is the business. Sure, this sauce was so lovely it wouldn’t matter what type of pasta you used it with. Delish!

  9. I have been reading your articles, I must admit that the entire article has been very useful and very well written.

  10. OoOoO! I’ve got to try this out. I haven’t made anything with spaghetti in a while now. It’d be nice to do something other than spagbol.

  11. This is my favourite pasta sauce, it’s SO good. And really easy to make. Definitely try it and report back!

    • The first time I made this it went down well. The second time though I blended the sauce before serving it. I found that you lose that big chunky taste (obviously) but you get a nice, creamy light red/dark pink sauce. I also added heaps of white wine. I plan to make this for my in-laws who love their wine so I’ll be adding loads of white wine when they stop by.

      • That’s a great idea, glad it was a success. I usually use 100ml of white wine, I find it works out best! I make this quite often as it’s soooo yummy. Next time I make it I’m going to try to get Pork’s cheek instead of pancetta which is how they make it in Italy. I’ll let you know how that goes!

  12. Was trying to verify if the use of wine was orthodox practice in making Amitriciana and found your blog.
    We use no onion but we use some roasted and peeled red peppers instead.
    Instead of white – I splash some good old fashioned San Giovese (any type)
    The result is something nearly as good as sex!!!

  13. Pingback: Bucatini all’amatriciana and Verdure grigliate | Live Blissful