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.2.
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.3.
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.