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Katie Lee's Bucatini all'Amatriciana



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta or bacon, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, crushed, with juices
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 pinches crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound bucatini or your favorite pasta
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated Pecorino-Romano or Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • Chef notes

    Amatriciana is one of my favorite ways to make pasta. The sauce is so easy, but also special enough for a date night. The bright tomatoes, salty pancetta and sautéed aromatics make the sauce so flavorful.



    In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until browned and the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.


    Add the onions to the skillet and sauté until translucent, 7-8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper (a generous pinch if you like spicy). Cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and use a wooden spoon to break up any large pieces. Add the pancetta back to the skillet. Add salt and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Bring to a low simmer, cover and cook until the flavors have melded and the sauce is slightly thickened, 20-30 minutes.


    While the sauce cooks, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season generously with salt. Cook the pasta about 1-2 minutes less than the package directions, until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Add the pasta to the sauce with about 1/4 cup of the pasta water. If it is too thick, add a few more tablespoons of pasta water. Toss to coat, continuing to cook the pasta an additional 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in cheese. Serve with additional cheese, if desired.