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Main dishes



One of the four classic Roman pastas you'll find in every trattoria in the capital. A to die for pasta recipe that comes from a little town about an hour from Rome called "Amatrice" hence the name. In Rome, the meat of choice would be guanciale – aka, cured pork cheek – but if you can't find any, you can use pancetta or even bacon. It gives the sauce so much rich, savory flavor – people will be asking “how is this tomato sauce so good?”

Preparation 15 min.
Cooking time 20 min.
Portions 4-6



  1. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add guanciale or pancetta and sauté
  2. until crisp and golden, about 4 minutes. 
  3. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, until soft, about 8 minutes.
  4. Add sauce, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, 10-12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.  Salt the water and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package.  Before draining, reserve about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
  6. Add drained pasta to sauce in frying pan and toss vigorously with tongs to coat. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water and cook until sauce coats pasta, about 2 minutes. (Add a little pasta water if sauce is too dry.) 
  7. Stir in cheese and transfer pasta to bowls. Top with more cheese if desired and serve.