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Pasta all'Amatriciana

Pasta all'Amatriciana
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
Cook Time:
1 hr
Prep Time:
10 mins

Chef notes

This is a classic Italian dish that you can make in advance. It actually tastes better the next day. The extra time allows all the flavors to marry and intensify.

Technique tip: Guanciale is a salty Italian cured pork product, so taste the sauce before you add salt.

Swap option: You can swap the guanciale for vegan sausage. Pecorino pairs with this sauce very well, but Parmesan also works.


  • 3 pounds guanciale, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 large Spanish onions, roughly chopped
  • 6 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 quarts store-bought marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup water, if needed
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 pounds cooked paccheri pasta



In a large saucepan set over medium-low heat, slowly render the guanciale, 4 to 6 minutes. When it is fully rendered, add onions and shallots and cook until semi-soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove mixture from pan and set aside. In the same pan, add wine and reduce by half, just to remove brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan pan and cook the alcohol out of the wine.


Add guanciale, onions and shallots back to the pan, along with chili flakes and marinara. Stir to combine. Allow to simmer for 1 hour on low. If sauce seems too oily, add a splash of water and skim fat off the top. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.


Serve with cooked pasta, or store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.