Food /
Italian Recipes

More than Cacio e Pepe: You Need to Try Roman Bucatini All’Amatriciana

“In Rome all sins and vices converge to be glorified

Publio Cornelio Tacito

Have you really been to Rome if you haven’t had Bucatini All’Amatriciana? If you can’t make it to Rome, this may be the best way to feel close to it. There are many great variations and points of discussion to this drool worthy dish born in the small town on the outskirts of Rome, Amatrice.

In honor of the town Amatrice that gave its name and identity we’ll stick to its original version.

As an aside, the predecessor of Amatriciana is the gricia (or griscia), the same dish without tomato, only when tomatoes were imported from the Americas, the condiment took the name of Amatriciana. Therefore here you go, with this recipe you get two roman dishes. 



  • 350gr of bucatini or spaghetti  
  • 150gr of pork cheek (guanciale)
  • 75gr Pecorino di Amatrice (if you can’t find it Pecorino Romano DOP will do the trick) 
  • 8 -10 fresh, ripe, and firm tomatoes (or 400grams of tomatoes) 
  • A spoonful of olive oil 
  • A splash of white wine 
  • A pinch of salt



  1. Cut guanciale in long slices (remove the pepper rind) and then into smaller pieces (not cubed)
  2.  Let the guanciale cook in its own fat over low heat in a non-stick pan until the grease is translucent (be careful not to burn it!)
  3. Collect with a fork and set aside, but LEAVE the fat in the pan
  4. Add a splash of dry white wine, turn up the heat until it evaporates 
  5. Peel and cut (in quarters) the tomatoes
  6. Add a pinch of salt and tomatoes to the pan, cook on low heat for 15 minutes.
  7. Once cooked mash the tomatoes with a fork until they are in pulp form and continue to cook until all the liquids have evaporated
  8. Bring a large pot of water with salt to boil, throw in the bucatini
  9. Drain 2 minutes before ready (I recommend al dente!) and pour it directly into the pan, and mix it in with the sauce at a high flame 
  10. Mix in the guanciale and pecorino and quickly stir
  11. SERVE IT HOT and with a bit of extra coarse pecorino 



Buy a whole piece of pecorino! (not that pre-grated stuff)

Use guanciale, do not opt for pancetta 

Toast the guanciale until it’s nice and crispy 

The original recipe calls for no onions or garlic 

To make the peeling process easier blanch the tomatoes in salted water for a minute