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Overhead view of two bowls of pasta with fresh tomato sauce and guanciale surrounded by glasses of red wine and a bowl of pecorino cheese.

Bucatini All’Amatriciana with Fresh Tomatoes

  • Author: Sabrina Russo
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2-3 servings 1x


Bucatini All’Amatriciana is a classic Roman pasta dish. My version requires only five ingredients and about 30 minutes!


  • 8oz bucatini or perciatelli pasta*
  • 3oz guanciale, sliced into 1/81/4 inch thick slices, 3/4 in long*
  • 12 pinches crushed red pepper flakes*
  • 12oz fresh compari tomatoes, sliced into 8 wedges, or tomatoes of choice (about 1 1/2 cup, chopped)
  • 2 tbsp grated pecorino romano cheese, plus more for serving*
  • Kosher salt


  1. Boil water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt generously so the water tastes like sea water. Keep warm until ready to cook pasta.
  2. Cook pork. Add sliced guanciale to a large, nonstick pan. Turn heat to medium. Cook until fat renders and guanciale starts to crisp up, about 10-12 minutes, turning halfway through. Reduce heat, as needed, to prevent burning. Add red pepper flakes and toast about 30 seconds.
  3. Cook tomatoes. Add sliced (or chopped) tomatoes to pan. Season with salt. Cook over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until softened and juices are released.
  4. Cook pasta. While tomatoes cook, add pasta to pot of boiling water. Cook about 1-2 minutes shy of perfectly al’dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. 
  5. Finish pasta in sauce. Add pasta to pan with sauce and about 1/4 cup of reserved pasta cooking water. Toss with sauce over medium heat until thickened to desired consistency. Shut off heat and stir in grated cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning, as needed.
  6. Serve. Transfer to serving bowls and top with additional grated cheese. Enjoy.


  • You can easily double or triple the ingredients in this dish to serve more people.
  • Other pasta shapes I would suggest include rigatoni, spaghetti, linguine and fettucine. 
  • Substitute guanciale with pancetta or bacon, if needed. If using pancetta which is leaner than guanciale, consider adding 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil to sauce for additional richness. 
  • I like to use small (3/4 inch long), whole dried chilies because they tend to be more potent and flavorful than pre-crushed red pepper flakes, but either ingredient works well. If you’re using a whole, dried chili crush with your fingers as you add it to the pan.
  • Use the ripest, sweetest tomatoes you can find. If you can find really great plum tomatoes or vine-ripe tomatoes, I would give those a try. For a smoother sauce, you can blanch, shock and peel the tomatoes first. Grape or cherry tomatoes would certainly also be sweet and tasty, albeit further from tradition.
  • If you can’t find great fresh tomatoes, use about 4 whole, San Marzano tomatoes from a can. Crush them with your hands before adding to the pan. Cook the sauce about 20-30 minutes to properly develop the flavor of the canned tomatoes.
  • Substitute parmigiano reggiano or domestic parmesan for pecorino, if needed
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Saute, Boil
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Serving Size: 1/3 of pasta
  • Calories: 490
  • Sugar: 5
  • Sodium: 390
  • Fat: 19
  • Saturated Fat: 7
  • Unsaturated Fat: 12
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 61
  • Fiber: 3.5
  • Protein: 18
  • Cholesterol: 35

Keywords: bucatini all'amatriciana, pasta all'amatriciana, amatriciana sauce