Spaghetti all’amatriciana is a popular pasta dish prepared often as a quick and easy staple in Italian households, not only because it’s delicious, but also because it contains ingredients that are usually on hand (bacon, tomatoes, red pepper, spaghetti, and freshly grated Pecorino or Parmesan), and can be made on the spur of the moment. It is also a feature on most restaurant menus throughout Italy, especially in Rome.
Originally made with dried pork cheeks (guanciale), most modern recipes use pancetta or lean, thick-sliced bacon. The dish can be made in less than 30 minutes. Al Padovano, a traditional restaurant in Rome near Porta Pia, serves an excellent version of Spaghetti all’amatriciana; their version contains red hot pepper which adds extra flavor. The following recipe is very close to that served at Al Padovano, and is sure to become a popular alternative to the ubiquitous spaghetti with meat sauce. While it’s not customary, meatballs from the Basic Meatball Module can be added at the last minute to make a heartier dish. For variety, try serving the sauce over penne or another favorite pasta.
8 ounces pancetta, or thick sliced bacon
1 clove garlic
1 cup onions, very finely chopped
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 red chile pepper, seeds and core removed
1/2 teaspoon crushed red hot pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces spaghetti, or similar pasta
6 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Cut the pancetta or bacon into strips about 1/2" wide.
- Place the strips in a large skillet and turn the heat to high; let the pancetta cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly (it should not brown).
- Add the garlic and onions; continue stirring over high heat until the onions are limp.
- Add the wine and cook 1 minute.
- Pour into the pan with the pancetta mixture.
- Add the salt and bring to a boil.
- Turn the heat down and simmer 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil; add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and add the pasta.
- Cook until al dente (done, but still firm to the bite).
- Drain and place in a large pasta bowl.
- Stir the cheese into the pasta sauce and toss it with the pasta.
- Serve immediately with more cheese on top if desired.
Pour the tomatoes into a food processor or blender; add the red chile pepper and process until smooth.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 386 Calories from Fat 138
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 36% Protein 22% Carb. 40%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 15 g
Saturated Fat 7 g
Cholesterol 32 mg
Sodium 1233 mg
Total Carbohydrate 38 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 21 g
Vitamin A 26% Vitamin C 48% Calcium 0% Iron 17%