This Easy Bucatini Pasta Amatriciana with Calabrian Chiles is a quick and easy restaurant quality pasta you can whip up any night of the week. With delicious pancetta, Calabrian chilis, and Pecorino Romano cheese.JUMP TO RECIPE
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Quick and delicious Bucatini Pasta Amatriciana with Calabrian Chiles
When they say simple food is best- they mean it. While this pasta is incredibly delicious and decadent feeling, it really comes together with a small list of quality ingredients. Made with hand crushed whole plum tomatoes, pancetta or guanciale, Calabrian chiles and Pecorino Romano cheese- this pasta is the epitome of classic Italian deliciousness.
What goes into the Bucatini Pasta Amatriciana?
To make this delightful classic pasta dish, you will need:
- Extra-virgin olive oil.
- Diced uncured pancetta, or, if you can find it- guanciale. Guanciale is an Italian cured meat made from pork jowl or cheeks. It is harder to find that pancetta, but it is traditional for this recipe. I usually use uncured pancetta, which is easier to get my hands on where I live. Both are delicious!
- A small red onion, finely diced.
- Fresh garlic cloves, minced. Fresh garlic, rather than jarred, is preferred for this recipe.
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste. You'll cook this out with the onions and garlic until it gets a bit darker to really develop the flavor.
- Dry white wine. I opt for a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. Go for dry not sweet, and use a wine you'd drink.
- A can of whole peeled tomatoes- drained and crushed with hands. If you like a smoother sauce, you can puree them in a blender or food processor.
- Crushed Calabrian chilies. I buy jars of these, and the paste-like crushed peppers have a great spicy flavor. A little bit goes a long way though, so if you are spice-averse, start with less and work your way up. If you can't find them, you can also use an equal measurement of crushed red pepper flakes.
- 1 lb Bucatini pasta. I LOVE Bucatini pasta for this recipe. The hollow long noodles suck up the sauce beautifully.
- Pecorino Romano cheese. If you like, you can use just Parmesan, but I highly recommend the Pecorino Romano.
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste. You'll salt the pasta water, and the onions while cooking them down.
- Pasta water. The key to super starchy pasta water here is to use a wide, deep, yet shallow pan to boil your pasta in. A deep sauté pan should do the trick. Something like this is perfect.
How to make Pasta Amatriciana
- In a large deep pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil in over medium heat and add the diced pancetta.
- Cook, stirring occasionally until crisp, 5-6 minutes.
- Once crisp, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate.
- Add the diced red onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally 4-5 minutes until softened.
- Add the minced garlic and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, until just fragrant.
- Add the tomato paste and stir well. Cook stirring occasionally 2-3 minutes, until slightly darker.
- Pour in the white wine and stir well. Cook 2 minutes, until slightly reduced.
- Using your hands, crush the drained whole peeled tomatoes and add to the pot.
- Add the Calabrian chilies and reserved pancetta, and stir well.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, cook your pasta according to the package time for al dente in a wide, deep sauté pan in salted boiling water.
- After the amatriciana sauce has cooked 20 minutes, add the cooked pasta directly to sauce with tongs, and add the pasta water. Stir well.
- Stir in the Pecorino Romano cheese.
What is Bucatini all'Amatriciana?
Pasta amatriciana is a traditional Italian pasta dish, featuring a sauce made with guanciale or pancetta, tomatoes, Pecorino Romano cheese, chiles, and (sometimes) wine. It is believed to have originated in the village of Amatrice, inc Central Italy.
The infusion of the savory pork and Pecorino Romano are perfectly balanced with the tangy tomatoes and spicy chiles for a simple, yet decadently delicious pasta dish.
If you can't find Bucatini pasta, or like a different shape, you can make this recipe with a variety of shapes. Just be sure to use a pound of pasta. Here are some other pastas that work well:
- Mezzi Rigatoni
Tips for the perfect Pasta Amatriciana every time
- Cook your pasta in a wide, deep saute pan, rather than a large pot, and salt it well. Not only will this produce ultra-starchy water, but it is also (in my humble opinion), easier to cook long pasta in.
- If the sauce is not thin enough for your liking, you can always add a bit more pasta water.
- Use quality ingredients for the best results. Splurge on the bronze cut pasta, get a high end pancetta or guanciale, use top shelf grated cheese. This sauce is worth it!
- Manage your spice to your tastes. It's always easier to add more, but pretty hard to cancel out what you've already added. If you are skittish with spice, add a bit at a time and taste until you like where it's going.
- Cook your pasta to al dente, as it will keep cooking a bit when added to your sauce.
Substitutions and Additions
Here are some substitutions and additions you can make to make this recipe your own, or use what you have on hand:
- Try a different pasta shape, such as Rigatoni or Spaghetti.
- Swap the Calabrian chilies for red pepper flakes.
- Use a can of crushed tomatoes in place of the whole plum tomatoes.
- Use parmesan instead of Pecorino Romano cheese.
- Try a yellow onion or a few shallots in place of the red onion.
- If you can't find guanciale or panetta, an uncured bacon diced finely will work.
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Easy Bucatini Pasta Amatriciana with Calabrian Chiles
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 oz diced uncured pancetta or guanciale
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
- 1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes- drained and crushed with hands
- 2 teaspoon crushed Calabrian chilies
- 1 lb Bucatini pasta
- 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- ¾ cup pasta water
- In a large deep pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil in over medium heat and add the diced pancetta. 2. Cook, stirring occasionally until crisp, 5-6 minutes. 3. Once crisp, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate. 4. Add the diced red onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally 4-5 minutes until softened. 5. Add the minced garlic and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, until just fragrant. 6. Add the tomato paste and stir well. Cook stirring occasionally 2-3 minutes, until slightly darker. 7. Add the white wine and stir well. Cook 2 minutes, until slightly reduced. 8. Using your hands, crush the drained whole peeled tomatoes and add to the pot. 9. Add the Calabrian chilies and reserved pancetta, and stir well. 10. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 11. Meanwhile, cook your pasta according to the package time for al dente in a wide, deep sauté pan in salted boiling water. 12. After the amatriciana sauce has cooked 20 minutes, add the cooked pasta directly to sauce with tongs, and add the pasta water. Stir well. 13. Stir in the Pecorino Romano cheese. Serve immediately with fresh basil or parsley, and additional grated Pecorino Romano cheese.
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